We trick-or-treated and our kids are the BEST!

So there ya have it. This post could have been a one-liner. BUT, since it was the 10th anniversary (which as Emily pointed out means 11th actual time we’ve trick-or-treated) of our cousin trick-or-treating extravaganza, I must also provide PICTURES! Pictures! And since  my good camera just broke they are sub-par iPhone pictures! But they will at least give you photographic proof that a) we continued our tradition and b) OUR KIDS ARE THE BEST! See for yourself!

Joshua was Falcon from the Captain America movies and Jonah (who was NOT at all pleased about getting his costume on at first) was Ironman.

Halloween Sam

 Sam was Star Lord from the Guardians of the Galaxy (are you sensing a theme among the boys?)

Halloween Sophie

Sophie was Merida from Brave. Except, you know, without the red curly wig. Because as she told Kate, “We didn’t have enough money for the wig.” Which actually means, “My mom is too cheap to buy the wig.” #truth

halloween kate joshua

Kate was…a nerd from a Taylor Swift video, so she says. And we believe her! I love this picture of these two cousins who started our Halloween tradition!

Here are some more fun shots of our night. We FINALLY had decent weather for the first time in several years!

Halloween group

Kate’s friend Rachel, who looks like she is receiving a punch in the face from Joshua, also trick-or-treats with us every year.

Halloween Jonah Daddy

He got into the spirit after the candy started rolling in.

Halloween Ironman Jonah

We even got him to wear his mask for awhile!

Halloween crazy people

They stayed out later than ever before this time!

We had a great night and I can’t wait until next year! What are your little cuties trick-or-treating as this year?

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Innocence Lost

I always knew hanging out with Emily could very possibly lead to a serious moral breakdown in my life, but dangit after 37 years of sailing through with my conscience intact, I got a little cocky.

So when Emily and her husband invited me and my husband to an all-expenses-paid evening (ok, fine we split the babysitter) at Emily’s university of employment’s family weekend entertainment – actor Aziz Ansari’s standup bit, I was all “Fish yeah! Double date with the Berry’s WOOHOOOO!!!”. Bobby and I were excited for a cousin’s night out. All I knew about Aziz is that he is on Parks & Rec which is a fun show. I didn’t google his standup routine or anything because I wanted to be surprised.

I was surprised all right. This screenshot from Emily’s Facebook should kind of let you know how the evening went:

EmJenAziz

But let me clear something up: it wasn’t Aziz’s fault. By the time he got on stage, my innocence had been shattered as Emily so accurately put it, into a million ever-loving pieces, about 8 minutes prior, during the very 2nd sentence out of the opening act comedian’s mouth.

I can’t remember his name and I am not going to look it up because I don’t want you to google him and subject yourself to his brand of debauchery. Apparently, though, he’s got a Netflix special. Which makes me reconsider my love of Netflix, but anyhoo.

Here’s what he opened with: “What is it here, Mother-Daughter Weekend? Oh, it’s Family Weekend?” (Aside, this means a couple thousand college students were sitting there WITH THEIR PARENTS. You need to know that because…) and then he said, “Well, then you’re probably not gonna like it when I start telling d**k jokes about your grandma.”

While my jaw was still on the floor, he then proceeded to tell several of those “jokes” about my grandma, he made it very clear that it was indeed my grandma, or since Emily and I were together, our grandma he was speaking about (and also, he was talking about your grandma, too, so stop looking so smug.)

Somewhere during the course of this terrible diatribe, Mr. Hilarious also mentioned that both of his parents are deaf. I shark you not, my first thought was, Thank God his mother is deaf. I hope she doesn’t have closed captioning on her Netflix.”

By the time Aziz got onstage, I wished I had been hearing impaired for this guy’s bit.  And I am sure those thousands of college students really enjoyed sitting there with their mom and dad while everyone’s new fave comedian filled them in on Grandma’s past. Yeeikes!

Aziz had his moments too, but I was already so scarred for life I barely noticed them. He had some really funny bits and was only like 20% vile, so basically he was like the Eagle Scout of the evening.

The moral of the story is: when planning Family Weekend entertainment, google the opening act.

Emily’s big defense when I accused her of contributing the the delinquency of a 37-year-old mother of three was, “Whatever. You’re the one who made me go see Austin Powers.”

You guys. This dude made Austin Powers look like Laura Ingalls Wilder.

So basically: never go anywhere with Emily. Unless she’s paying. Because it’ll probably be worth it for the blog fodder.

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5 Reasons I’m Glad I’m Done Having Kids

Before I had kids, I thought I wanted five kids. After I had one, I thought, “maybe three”. After I had two, I thought “Remember when I only had one? THAT WAS AWESOME.” Just kidding (sort of), I really thought, “Two’s good.” And then, well, we went away without kids for our 10th anniversary, and…we ended up bringing one back with us. And make no mistake,  I am so glad we did. But I am also so glad we are not having any more. I got my tubes tied on the operating table when I had a c-section with baby #3 and I’ve not regretted it for one single second. Our family is complete and it feels great. And so does never having to have ankles the size of a California Redwood ever again. Which I think is a great segue into my 5 reasons I’m glad I’m done having kids.

1) I can’t seem to pop them out the right way, and major abdominal surgery three times in seven years was puh-lenty. Especially that first time when I got a paralyzed bowel and it hurt worse than labor, and that third time when my magic pain ball medicine they gave me after surgery DIDN’T WORK and the nurse didn’t believe me and I just wanted to die for a couple days. Pass.

2) My three wonderful, awesome, amazing kids have stretched me to my limit. Even though the older two are capable of doing lots of self-care, there’s not a minute of the day when I don’t feel needed, pulled on, and tethered to them. And sometimes, I can’t hear “Hey Mom” one more time without losing it. It stands to reason that if I had another kid, I’d hear it one more time plus one more time. I guess what I’m trying to say is, a fourth kid would definitely get the shaft. Because I’m about tapped out. I’ve got really good friends who keep popping out babies with no signs of stopping and frankly it makes me feel rather inferior because I would love to be that maternal angel who just wants to have all the children her loins can produce and love them each perfectly, but I. Am. Not. And then sometimes I feel guilty about having three kids when some people struggle to have one, and I think, well, what is the right way to feel? I don’t know.

3) Playing host to a growing human being for 40 weeks (which, let’s be real, is more like 10 months than 9. Somebody sold us a big ol’ LIE.) is totally miraculous but SO not enjoyable to me. Especially when at about week five, the 24/7 Vomitpalooza gets going. I had morning sickness with my first baby and I had alldayeverydayforthenextsixteenweeks sickness with my other two. And this may surprise you, but after about two weeks, the “Let’s count how many times and in how many different places I threw up today” game gets old. So does running from your desk to the bathroom that’s really far down a long hallway at work while your co-workers take bets on whether you’re going to take it or not. Oh, and…I didn’t like anything else about being pregnant either. Except getting to keep the baby at the end.

4) My heart is in three equal pieces that walk around in three little bodies. I worry about my kids. I don’t let anxiety rule my life, but having and loving a child means taking a huge risk with your heart. I took that risk three times, so I have three times the mom fears. And I won’t lie, having two kids with developmental delays has taken a lot out of me. Having to worry and stress about their development wore me down to a degree…I think it’s a big part of the reason I consider myself tapped out.

5) I like being back to me. I know it sounds selfish, but I nursed my last two babies til they were two. It will be two years next month since I’ve been a nursing mama. I loved nursing my babies but I like the way I feel not having to share my body anymore. I like the fact that my hair no longer falls out faster than it could grow in and that I can wear real bras and drink large quantities of caffeine and take an aspirin without worrying about passing anything along to the kiddos. I like walking around in my own skin and having it be…my own. At this point in my life, it feels completely and totally right.

There you have it…some reasons why I am really happy to be a mom of three and only three. I realize not everyone has this choice, but I think my reasons for not having any more are pretty good…and totally “me”.

 

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