Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Carving Contest 2009 - Vote for Your Favorite!

Here are the results from our 2009 pumpkin carving contest. I won't say which pumpkin belongs to which person. Since Margot is not yet big enough to wield a knife, she dictated her artistic vision to Brodie and he carved her pumpkin based on the instructions.

Vote for your favorite!

Monday, October 12, 2009


This weekend we camped in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. It was spectacular - cold, crisp weather, changing leaves, the rain ended before we arrived, and Brodie even saw two baby bears (but Margot and I did not).

This year's camping trip far surpassed last year's camping trip. Last year, we were unable to reserve a campsite and so drove out hoping to snag one of the 'first come first serve' sites. By the time we got to the ranger station in Shenandoah National Park, there was a long line. We got in line, and when we got to the front the couple in front of us got the last available campsite. It was terrible. We drove around until dark, trying to find somewhere else to camp, but ended up driving back to DC and camping in the living room. Margot savored that memory, though, and honestly thought that camping in the living room was so much fun.

Until she got to do some real camping, that is. Now that she has a real taste for outdoor camping, she's hooked. She loved sleeping in a tent, loved watching the campfire, and loved toasting marshmallows and drinking cocoa. I'm not sure she's ready for backcountry camping yet, but I bet she will be in a few years. For now, car camping is a ton of fun with her, especially because of the ear-to-ear grin she wore the whole time we were there.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

"I like pink. Pink is my signature color."

One thing that Margot and I will never agree on is her love of the color pink. "Love" is not a strong enough word, actually. Try...obsession. Adoration. Zeal. Add those up, and maybe, just maybe, you've scratched the surface of how Margot feels about the color pink.

We were at the mall last weekend, and we browsed in H&M because I like their selection of kids clothes. I found this adorable, brown houndstooth cap with gold threading that I loved for Margot. I made her try it on, and she did so begrudgingly. It looked fantastic. It was so cute. I wanted to buy it right away.

But she stood there, smile faded from her face and her shoulders slumped. I knew she would never wear the hat once we left the store. I sighed. There was no point in buying the hat because it would just sit in her closet until I gave it away or sold it on Ebay.

"Margot, please," I pleaded, a little too desperately for a 32-year-old mother talking to a four-year-old. "Please, will you wear that hat if I buy it?"

She looked straight at me. "Mom, you know these aren't my colors. My colors are pink and purple."

(Before you think she was being disrespectful or ungrateful, let me assure you, she really doesn't mean to be. She just has her opinions and she sticks to them. Peer pressure is not something that affects her, at least so far.)

Mentally, I flashed to a scene from Steel Magnolias, which, embarassingly enough, is one of my favorite movies. In the scene, Shelby (played by Julia Roberts) is describing the colors at her wedding ceremony. She calls them "blush" and "bashful." Her mother (played by Sally Field) calls them "pink" and "pink." Shelby then goes on to describe how every last detail in her wedding ceremony will be pink. Her mother comments that it looks as if the reception area has been hosed down with Pepto Bismol.

Clearly, Margot is Julia Roberts and I am Sally Field.

If you're not familiar with this scene, or if you just want to see it again, you can watch it on YouTube. The details to which I refer here are within the first two minutes of the clip, so it won't take much of your time.