Halloween 2010

Halloween is upon us again. Just like last year, we joined Claire’s school friend Megan for Halloween festivities in their Mount Bonnell neighborhood. The neighborhood has an annual Halloween parade — actually, a loose gaggle of spooky kids and their accompanying parents, lead by ceremonial bagpipes. Immediately following the parade, the kids and accompanying parents fan out for tricks or treats.

This was technically Molly’s second Halloween, but it was the first one that Molly was actually awake and conscious for. Today, Molly found herself walking down the street among dozens of kids dressed up as cowboys, Sesame Street characters, princesses (including her sister), and of course Star Wars heroes and villains. They would go from house to house, knocking on the strange doors asking for candy. As Sally says in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, “Are you sure this is legal?” Molly, who dressed as a pumpkin fairy (whatever that is), loved it. She stayed up late and had no dinner aside from some bread and strawberries while on the move. Ordinarily, this would be enough to make her rather fussy, but she smiled and looked around with wide eyes the whole time.

For her part, Claire, at age four, has become an old pro. Claire wore her running shoes and literally sprinted from house to house trying to (1) keep up with her friends, and (2) maximize her candy intake. Claire, who dressed up kind of like Sleeping Beauty, ended the night exhausted and sweaty with a bag full of several pounds of candy. Claire had some indecision on her costume up to the last minute this year. Several months ago, she mentioned that she wanted to be Snow White, then almost changed her mind to a butterfly princess we saw at a Pottery Barn outlet. Afraid she would later change her mind and want to be Snow White in the end, we persuaded her to stick with Snow White. She wore the Snow White outfit once or twice before Halloween and looked perfect. But she got cold feet the day before Halloween and changed to a generic pink princess outfit she had from her dress-up collection, declaring herself Sleeping Beauty. We are not sure why she abandoned the Snow White idea, but we probably pushed Snow White too hard. We were trying to avoid the exact situation we got in, switching costumes at the last minute, except in reverse! Oh, meddling parents! Still, both girls looked cute and had a really fun time.

An Unruly Bunch

Here are the photos of Molly’s class wearing their Halloween costumes. You can see Molly in the right-center area slightly behind a large blonde boy wearing a silly sweater. Molly apparently loved wearing her pumpkin fairy outfit and complained when they took it off.

Toss Up Talk

Molly woke up last night at 4 am to discover, to her astonishment, that she was vomiting. Of course, she probably had no idea what was going on, but her cries made it clear she did not like it one bit.

Pretty soon, the whole family was awake and gathered around poor Molly. While Kit held and comforted Molly, I got some paper towels to clean up Molly, Kit, and myself. Claire, who was suffering from “walking pneumonia” and had missed the prior day of school, was very interested in what was happening and asked how she could help. Claire and I quickly removed Molly’s stained sheets, wiped down her plastic-covered mattress, and put on a fresh clean sheet. We sent Claire to the guest bedroom to sleep while Kit and then I held Molly until morning.

We kept Molly home from school the next day. Molly’s teacher called me in the morning to ask if Molly was okay. She said she had visited Claire’s classroom and saw Claire was in school, so she figured Molly was sick (oops, I should have called). She said Claire told her excitedly that Molly threw up in the middle of the night.

Molly spent the day at home with me mostly sleeping, drinking Pedialyte, not eating, and acting groggy. Her fever spiked to 102.

When I picked up Claire, with Molly in tow, Claire’s friends on the playground were excited to hear about Molly’s misadventure. After I explained to them what had happened, each of the cute little girls, each dressed in a cute little dress, proudly shared their own unique story of vomiting. One had vomited all over the carpet at night as a baby. One had vomited on the kitchen floor and got to watch a movie while her mom cleaned it up (it took quite a while, I am told). Claire got to tell everyone how she had vomited on the stairs while racing up to our bedroom. There was a debate about the best place to vomit, with “outside” being the consensus. Molly, who I was holding during all of this, enjoyed the animated conversation and, for the first time that day, smiled a great deal.

We headed home to try to get a little solid food down Molly and wait for Grammy to drive up and help with the crisis. Trusty ol’ Grammy would save Molly from being taken care of by a random temporary nanny and/or me from taking a third day in a row off from work.

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Trip to Corpus

Due to a variety of factors, it had been at least of couple of years since Kit had been back home to Corpus Christi. We had seen lots of Grammy and Grandaddy in this time, but they had always come to us. So Kit was determined to go home for a quick visit, and at the tail end of a rare week off from work, we made the drive down to see visit Grammy and Grandaddy, who were just back from an extended trip to Washington state.

It had been so long since we had been to Corpus Christi than Claire said she did not remember their house. And of course, it was Molly’s first visit to Corpus Christi. The kids had a ball, mostly just playing around the house and the backyard. Grammy had set up a little wagon full of toys for each girl, stealing partly from Kit’s old favorites. When we weren’t hanging out playing or watching the baseball playoffs (go Rangers!), we made the occasional excursion, such as to the Lego exhibit at the art museum. Claire and Grammy also made up a great birthday cake and celebration for me. It was a fun, relaxed time, and Grammy took care of everything. Here are some pictures.

The drive home was not very nice and relaxed, however. There was some fussing (shrieking, actually) from little Molly, a rather awkward roadside bathroom-less bathroom break for Claire, some vomiting from Kit, and a panting Muffin who we snuck onto the patio at EZ’s in San Antonio to keep her from overheating in the back with the luggage. Things arguably could have gone worse, though, and we were glad to visit Corpus, if only briefly.


We had been tossing around the idea of Claire and Molly sharing a room since we moved into the new house. Claire had been unexpectedly excited about the idea. She seemed to love the idea of sharing a room so she and Molly could “keep an eye on each other” during the night. And she liked the idea of being “roommates” with Molly. We liked the idea of opening up a guest room for all the hardworking grandparents.

Today we finally took the plunge. Kit is off this week for an all too rare vacation, today the kids’ school is closed for a teachers’ work day, and Claire is still gung ho about sharing rooms. So today was dedicated to merging all of Claire’s stuff into what had been Molly’s much larger, poorly appointed room.

Among other activities, Kit worked with Claire on a special new sign for the new shared bedroom door. “Claire and Molly’s room” it said, featuring a photo of the sisters together and the letters E and G, their middle initials, included at Claire’s insistence.

We did have some friction over where to place Claire’s bed. Kit had a very sensible arrangement picked out, with Claire’s bed and Molly’s crib on opposite walls. Claire really really wanted to stick her bed in the middle of the room right next to Molly’s crib! It was a ridiculous arrangement by any normal standard, but I talked Kit into going along with it temporarily to ensure that this little experiment started off on the right foot. I did not want Claire to sour of sharing a room with Molly before they even started.

We put Molly to sleep first, an hour or so before Claire. As we got Claire ready for bed, she proudly explained how she would look out for Molly during the night. She explained to us that she would be the closest one to Molly if she had any trouble (crying, etc). “Who do you think is closer? Someone here in the room with Molly?” she said using her fingers to illustrate her position in the house near Molly. “Or someone way over here in your bedroom?” she said, holding one finger a couple of inches away. We agreed that Claire would be closer. “Yep”, she said proudly. She also explained that Molly would be in better hands now since three people would be looking out for her at night. “What is a bigger number: two or three?” she beamed.

Kit read Claire her bedtime story in our bedroom and then took her into the darkened room where little Molly was sleeping. It was quiet at first, but after a while, Molly started crying, as she has been doing a lot lately, apparently due to some new teeth coming in. I gave Molly a few minutes, but the noise got worse, and then it turned into talking and giggling. I went to check out the scene, standing semi-hidden in the doorway. Claire was patting Molly on the back, sweetly saying “it’s okay, little baby”. Molly, who must have been surprised and delighted to suddenly have her sister there talking to her, sat up and started talking and giggling back at her big sister. Claire ate this up, and leaned in for giggles and hugs. That was it, I had to step in and end all the sweetness. It was time to sleep! I gave Molly some teething gel and told Claire her job was to help Molly get back to sleep by laying down and showing her how a big girl goes to sleep. Claire took her duty very seriously and did as suggested. Kit would check on the girls later from the doorway and exchange hand signals with Claire indicating they loved each other and everything was going okay. After another period of giggling and flirting, mostly on Molly’s part, the girls were asleep.

When I checked on them I before going to bed myself, they were both asleep in exactly the same position, both laying on their right side at the same angle with their little arms sticking out the same way. What a pair!

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Trailer parkin’ it

With the nice weather, everyone in a good mood, and a little time on our hands today, we decided to go out for lunch South Austin style. We went to the South Congress Ave. trailers to eat. It was a little awkward feeding Molly out among the wind and crowds on a picnic table, but everyone had a good time, as you can see.

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