If you’re out of blogging ideas, just link up a TED lecture and people will think you’re smart.

So it’s 1 am and, as is often the case, I can’t sleep.

I picked up this lovely little trait from my dad, who can often be found snoozing on the couch at 5 am because he tripped back out to the tv in the wee hours after reading wouldn’t do the trick.  I feel your pain, Rodney.

I take warm baths.  I turn the lights low an hour before bedtime.  I read relaxing material.  I even read my scriptures. (Insert standard joke at your pleasure.)  I once saw a doctor about it.  He said that my internal clock wants the day to be several hours longer than it actually is, so it won’t let me sleep until I’m utterly exhausted, which usually occurs two days after the sleepless night.  And when the fatigue hits, it hits hard.  This would be okay if I could lie down and sleep for nine hours every time my jacked-up “clock” decided it was bedtime, but it usually decides that bedtime should occur between getting the kids to school, helping Ethan build a fort, and fighting my way through the Customer Service line at Wal-Mart. So what the doctor basically said is:  So Sorry. Push Through. It seems that short of prescription drugs, sleepless nights are just a part of my schtick, and have been for as long as I can remember.  Not that I’m complaining.  Just female-conversing. You get the difference.

Some nights I do sleep well.  Others, like tonight, find me reading strangers’ blogs at 1 am, which is how I recently stumbled upon one of the best TED lectures ever.  It’s all about creativity and children and lots of cool, interesting stuff.  I want you to watch it.  I know what you’re thinking:  “No way am I sitting through a twenty-minute video right now; I can’t believe I’ve wasted even two minutes reading this lame post.”  I understand.  I rarely watch videos online, either.  But promise me you’ll watch it later, when you can’t sleep.  Really.  It will make you laugh and make you happy, and although the speaker isn’t terribly attractive, after listening to him talk for five minutes I decided that I wanted to marry him.

The best part?  You can now post this lecture on your own blog, start babbling about how you just love TED, and then go buy some heavy-rimmed, prescription-less glasses.  Your perceived I.Q. is guaranteed an immediate twenty-point spike.  And then you can match up that newfound intellectualism with some compassion by mailing me phony scrips for Ambien.



This morning, Ethan came into my room and crawled into bed with me, flopping down for a giant, good-morning bear hug.  It was heavenly.  He was warm and groggy and just barely young enough, I knew, to still want to snuggle with his dorky old mom.  He’s my last child and will turn six in a few months.  These moments are quickly disappearing, I thought, and all the better because of it.  I wanted to stay there all day, hugging him and kissing that massive, sweaty white head.  I lay in bed, swimming in these tender thoughts and wondering what I could say to show him the fullness of my heart.  I then felt something tickle me, and looked down to see that he was burrowing his nose directly under my arm.  I heard a muffled cry come up from under the covers, and couldn’t quite understand what he was saying.

“It mulls fulov marmpis ineere!”

“What was that, honey?”  I smiled.  This was all so sweet.

“I said, grosss!  It smells full of armpits in here!”

Ah.  They grow up so fast.

I’d give anything to slow it down.

It was big. It was blue. It was skeery.

Last Friday night, my husband dressed up as a Blue Man, as in The Blue Man Group.

He has not worn a costume once in the fifteen years we’ve been married, and this year, suddenly, he presents himself as such.  Why?  you might ask.  (That’s what I asked.)

Rewind to Halloween 2009.  Apparently, somewhere in the midst of the raging ward party, Derrick and three other un-costumed men made a brother’s pact that they would each come as a member of The Blue Men this year.  One of them backed out to support his kids in a family costume.  (I guess Ian thinks he’s a good dad or something.)  But the other two made good on their promise.

Are any of you familiar with the prematurely cancelled show Arrested Development?  That’s Don posed as Tobias, the “never nude,” on the right.  (Don’t ask.  Please don’t ask.)

These costumes were not scary or inappropriate.  There is certainly nothing risque about the Blue Man Group.  And yet, the whole thing seemed wrong.  I’m not sure why.  But somehow, it was all:  wrong.

And speaking of wrong:

That’s me on the right, dressed up as Princess Leia to coordinate with my son’s costume.  Problem: dress looks like a toga and my wig is actually called a “hip hop afro.”  (I”m not being politically incorrect here.  That’s really what it’s called.)

I couldn’t find a Princess Leia wig.  I thought the dark color and rounded side puffytails of this wig could pass as Leia’s ‘do.

I was wrong.  Very wrong.

Instead, I look like Minnie Mouse.  Or a female matadora.  Or a hip hop dancer, which would utilize this wig in the manner for which it was created.  So we’ll go with that.

I put on a bunch of extra makeup, hoping to capture some of Leia’s glamour.  I’m thinking:  not quite.  But have you heard?

Miss Nelson Is Missing.

Then, of course, there’s the typecasting:

She threw this costume together five minutes before the party.  This woman’s going to outlive us all.

Now that we’re done with the skeery costumes, let’s treat ourselves to some cuteness:

“Tonks” from Harry Potter, Book Five.  Do you know her?  (Neither did I.)  But whoever she is, she’s pretty stinkin’ cute.  (I’m dreading the day, however, when Rache adopts this look for high school.)

Meg and her cousin, Bailie, dressed up as “babies.”  Believe it or not, their pacifiers were battery operated and lit up quite spectacularly.  For the duration of the night, they looked up at potential candygivers and meowed out a softy, pouty little “trick-or-treat” in unison baby voices.  It was insufferable.  (But darn cute, too, as they were well aware.)

And then there was Yoda.  No family Halloween is complete without a Yoda.

I’m sorry, but I thought this was the most delightful thing I saw all weekend.  Maybe ever.  Notice the dual-weaponry of lightsaber and walking stick.  A Jedi is always prepared.

Green face paint:  check.  Homemade felt ears: check.  Large piece of brown felt with hole for head:  check.  Wise words flowing freely all night–such as, “I gotta booger in my nose!  I can’t get it out with all this paint on my face!”–check.  (Doesn’t he know that it’s “booger I got…?”)

The highlight of the evening was that, come party time, Rachael’s Baked Potato Soup won third prize in the big soup cook-off and my Pumpkin Bisque somehow got second.  (Rachael’s should have beat mine.  Everybody knew it.)  Rachael made the entire pot herself and even came up with the secret ingredient that I personally believe put it in the winner’s circle.  (hint:  salt and fat makes everything taste better.  oink.)

I’m thankful for fun kids and a great Halloween, but mostly I’m thankful, as I am every year, that Halloween is over.

In fact, I’m so thankful that, if I were a monster created by a mad scientist, my name would be Thankenstein.

(loved the card, aunt connie.  i’ve been waiting for a month to put that on my blog.)