Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mom still dresses up, too. Halloween 2012

My costume this year: Maude Lebowski from the phone scene in The Big Lebowski.

Specs: wig was an Electra auburn wig that I cut short. It curled under naturally, so it was very easy to do. I got it at Party City, but can't find it online right now. It was about 20 bucks.

Robe was a self-design, made of dark green felt. I wanted velvet, but they didn't have any in this color and the price would have been prohibitive anyway. It approximates her costume quite well, and is super comfy to boot. I wore it to a Halloween party Friday night, and those who'd seen the movie loved it. I am surprised by how many people have not seen the movie. Travesty! I wore it with a tank and jean skirt underneath, and black knee-high boots like she wears in the painting scene. I also approximated her makeup, though my attempt to create the lipstick shade wasn't exact, but whatever. So I was Technicolor Maude.

Hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween, and get lots of good candy!

Ruby Gloom and an uncooperative strawberry: Happy Halloween 2012!

We've survived Hurricane Sandy with no damage, and didn't even lose power. But, despite being home all together for 2 days, Halloween still managed to sneak up on us, and our pumpkins are yet uncarved. School is back on today, so we woke a little earlier to get ready. The girls enjoyed jack o'lantern oatmeal and then Rowan sat patiently for her hair and makeup session. She decided way back in November last year that she wanted to be Ruby Gloom, and surprisingly, never changed her mind about her costume. I found the perfect little black velvet dress on sale at Walmart after Christmas, and due to the snow today, we had to top it with a little long-sleeved velvet shrug she had just so she wouldn't be too cold. She wore black bike shorts underneath for warmth and so she can play without flashing the kindergarten, and the tights are actually adult socks purchased from an online clown supply company. We sprayed her hair red, added a little black makeup for brows, freckles and lashes, and she is Ruby Gloom! She was so excited, she didn't even complain about having to carry 6 quarts of apple juice to school for her party.

My sister had given us a bunch of theater makeup from a company she worked for that went out of business, so I'll be interested to see how it lasts. It was beautiful to work with and went on very smoothly. Since she is only 5, we skipped the white base--better chance she'll still be OK with it by the end of the day, in time to trick-or-treat tonight.

She had wanted Anya to go as Doom Kitty, Ruby's sidekick, but Anya protested. I happened to see (and totally fall in love with) this strawberry costume at Old Navy, and it was on sale, so there you go. It's cute as a button and warm, too, so it was a no brainer. Anya, however, was not interested in posing or even looking in the camera's general direction this morning, so we will make another attempt later, but this might be it.

We wish you a safe and fun Halloween! May your bucket be filled with all your favorite treats!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Anya says her bedtime prayers.

I couldn't bear the thought of forgetting how her voice sounds right now. "Wakey wiff" gets me every time.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Red carpet ready

Red carpet ready, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Last night was it, the big event: the Mooeys. Many of the Community Stars were out, sparkled up and looking glamorous. For a ham like me, this was the perfect event--a chance to embiggen my hair, put on the most glitzy things I own (stopping one step shy of drag queen) and laugh and hug and celebrate the great fun, hard work and wonderful friends I made over the last two years working with the State College Community Theater. The musical for which I directed the orchestra this summer, Guys and Dolls, won for Best Musical! I am very excited to be involved in future productions. Watch for Legally Blonde: The Musical, coming to the State Theater February 8 and 9. It's, like, gonna rock!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012


Alleluia., originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

I know, it's been forever since I posted here, but I am thinking of changing that. Life gets busy, and facebook is so easy... but enough excuses. An occasional post here is a good thing, right?

I am leaving in about half an hour to teach my last class of the week. I have great kids this year, and we are having a ball, though finding music for the odd mix is still a challenge. Rowan is loving kindergarten, and thriving in the new environment. She keeps asking her teacher about science, and Mrs. M makes a point to tell her when something they are doing "Is Science!!!" She is getting lots of stars, hearts and smileys on her papers, which is Kindergarten for "great job", so she is happy. She's also wondering why math is just counting and matching pictures of apples to the number 5, with crayons, scissors and glue sticks required, and nobody has yet asked her what 5+1 is. She has her father's intellectual curiosity.

Anya is recovering. We are pretty sure that symptoms that have been showing up for the past few months, very gradually, are signs of lactose intolerance just like Dad and big sis. Removing dairy from her diet is calming things down, but it's pretty hard to explain to a 2-year old that she cannot have string cheese or a fudgesicle. She is loving time at home alone with Mommy, and has developed a nice routine. Unlike her sister at this age, she entertains herself easily, so I'm finding it easier to be productive. (Or waste more time on Facebook and reading. That, too.)

Oh, and big news--Rowan learned to ride a 2-wheeler. It took 2 lessons from Dad, and she was doing it, turning, and riding all over the cul-de-sac. Since it took me until I was nearly a teenager to learn, I'm very proud of her, and I'm proud of what a great teacher her dad is.

Off to do more laundry...

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Sisters, January 2012

Sisters, January 2012, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Future indie rock star.

Future indie rock star., originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Or stylist.

Or both.

Monday, March 05, 2012

I am fluent in 3 languages: English, French and Anyanian.

She talks a lot, though it's usually really hard to understand her. She knows exactly what she is saying, though, and gets frustrated with us for not getting her meaning, when it's clear as crystal to her that "Na Ba Ta! NA BA TA! NAAAABAAAAATAAAAA!!!!" means "clementine". But we're learning, and so is she. 

And her little, "Uhyootooooo!" after an "I love you" makes it all worth it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

First Sleepover

They planned it themselves. I heard snippets, here and there, but figured it was just wishful thinking. Then I got the text.

"Are we on for a sleepover tomorrow?"

So, she's going. Just down the hill, her friend lives pretty much in our backyard, and they spend so much time together, I'm not really worried that she'll get scared and want to come home at 2 AM (though she can if she wants to, of course.) She's got her sleeping bag, Eeyore, "Cover Blanket", clothes, jammies, brushes and toothpaste. The Goofy pillowcase is fresh, and she's planned to use "the sleeping side". I think they may be sleeping in the loft bed, which should be interesting. There will be movies and popcorn and lots of giggles.

Exciting, and a little sad. My girl is growing up.

Next party's at our house.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I can't put my arms down!!!

I can't put my arms down!!!, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

It probably took longer to dress her than we spent outside, thanks to her sister's accident, but dang. Doesn't she look adorable?

Best friends

Best friends, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

They had a ball playing in the few inches of fresh snow, until Rowan took a header into her buddy's sled. She ended up with a mouth full of blood and a bad attitude, but that meant it was a good time to come in and take a nap. Thankfully, every girl in the house chose to nap at the same time--even mom. Woot!

More snow expected tonight; it should be a fun weekend.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter's nap

Winter's nap, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year! 2012. (Just typing that makes me feel old.)

We spent our first Christmas in our new house, and it was wonderful. Really. Really, really. Really.

Christmas, on our terms. No rushing, no driving, no icy roads. Money spent on postage instead of plane tickets, and phone calls instead of in-person hugs, but wonderful memories were made, just by us. These were the kind of Christmases my mom gave us, and I am so thankful for all of those memories. It does make me happy to give the same gift to our little girls, and in turn, they give me more than they could ever know.

We started off with a photo shoot in our Christmas duds (definitely a family tradition), followed by a smorgasbord dinner of charcuterie (sausages and other meats), fromages (cheeses), crackers, bread, dips, fruit and crudités (raw veggies). Then we headed to church for a Christmas Eve candlelight service. My favorite part of the evening was trailing all the children as they processed through the sanctuary during the first hymn, ringing bells and giggling. (I followed to make sure we didn't lose Anya, but another little girl gently took her by the hand and walked with her the whole time.)

When we arrived home, it was present opening time, and the girls had a blast discovering all the new toys under the tree. After putting them to bed, Dr. B and I spent time cuddling up under our new fur throw and watching mysteries. Perfect.

Christmas morning, it turned out, Santa had showed up, so roller skates were strapped on and shopping carts were revved up as our house became a racetrack. We relaxed for a while, eating monkey bread and egg casserole, and then began to get out the china and crystal for dinner. I made ham, Martha Stewart's potato/leek galette (that was such a hit at Easter), and some other yummy things (including fresh lefse that we rolled before dinner), and we welcomed our friends from just down the hill. We had a wonderful time together, and I was so happy, I didn't even mind leaving the dishes until the next day. (That is normally a no go, so I must have been really relaxed!)

The break from school has been wonderful--just having nowhere we have to be at any certain time has been fantastic. The kids play, we stay in our jammies until we feel like showering, and most meals are just a collection of leftovers--it's a great way to live. We did manage to get our dining room painted, and we both absolutely love the rich plum color. Amazing how inspiring color can be in your home!

For New Year's Eve, we kept it low key, and just walked down the hill to our friends' for a drink. We shared Foie Gras with them that Aimee had brought us, and toasted the New Year.

2011 was full of changes for us, some possibilities that did not pan out, and some that did. No matter, though, because I am proud of how we handled ourselves, and I'm looking forward to another great year. Every day, I am more thankful than the last. To be blessed with a wonderful, healthy family, good friends, and a life I chose--I couldn't ask for more.

May your 2012 be full of belly laughs and bright ideas.

Much love from the Brownsons!

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