Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Our New House is Haunted

By the spirit of Halloween!

Which is way better than real ghosts...unless those ghosts were friendly and good at crime solving.

So here we are, year two in California and just 2 weeks post new house move in, no baby sitter for our 4 year old....oh and I am 35 weeks pregnant. Normal people might skip the whole "let's scare the neighbors" set know, just this once...but we actually committed to this in our wedding vows so what are you gonna do?

You are going cram your husband in a crate, label that crate "free candy," and sit on your porch with your 4 year old and remember why you love your family.

Oh and if you want a walk down memory lane, here is a link to last year's Halloween which links you to all of our Halloweens past. CLICK ME

Side note, what do you go as on Halloween when you are large with child and never take off your stretch pants? A mama cat covered in kittens. Katherine Belle is obviously "Sleeping Beauty Rapunzel Tiana." Obviously.

 We hit the neighborhood for trick or treating early and were very pleased with how great the street we live on turned out to be. Lots of decorations, one honest to god haunted house and good candy corn in sight.

While we were gone, Stefan was in the box on the porch. I am not sure what he was doing but when we walked back to the house we passed a you Buzz Lightyear who informed us to "watch out for that house! It's scary!" He said this with a big grin.

So this year we kept it simple. Stefan was in the crate labeled candy. I sat on the porch with Katherine Belle and when kids came up I said "Hi! Happy Halloween! We just moved into the house and found this box labeled candy but I am too pregnant to get it open and my daughter is too young to open it. Will you help us open it? I assume it if full of candy."

The whole time I am doing this, the box is bumping.

There is no question someone is in the box.

Every kid..."Sure!"

They reach for the box and Stefan pops the lid and hurls candy out at them. We had limited chances to capture this...imagine our neighbor is a 8 year old child.

Here are some real children. The kid in the vest actually brought back more kids later in the evening which is always a good sign.

What I love about this super simple set up is that even though it is TOTALLY obvious someone is going to scare you, everyone is still up for it and STILL jumps and screams. I'd prefer to not be at the edge of the stairs but we have good insurance....mwa ha haaaaa!

Here is a picture from inside the box.

So how did Katherine Belle do?


By the 3rd group to come trick or treating she would step up to the porch edge and say "Hi! Do you want to help open this spooky and mysterious box labeled candy? I am too little and she is to pregnant!"

Despite the added level of brutal honesty, kids still did it and still jumped!

She even wanted to be in the box and scare people plus she stayed on script. So proud.

Plus this means next year we are able to become a full family show!

We miss our Brooklyn haunts and friends. We still haven't quite found a group who wants to come sit all night and take amazing pictures, but we did get a few videos with the help of our neighbor Carol.

Please watch us do this to our real estate agent. for the scariest part of the evening. Around 8:30 our CSA guy dropped off our vegetable box.


Till next year!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Oh has been too long PPPAers and there is a very good chance it will be a while after this.


I am "trying to relax more" which means watching a little TV during the day. Rebel.

So I have been on a sewing bender lately, in particular quilts. As you know, I don't like to follow rules, man. Not me...rules are for squares which is why my quilts are never square or any identifiable shape. I look at some photos and some quilting books then just start cutting and sewing. I measure 4 times and still usually cut it very wrong. The results turn out to be odd shaped quilts, big enough for a very small baby (like creepy small who don't ever want to roll or won't get cold...ever), and are made of poorly cut strips of fabric. But recently I decided I wanted to learn more. I turned to Pintrest (pronounced by me as PIN-INtrest, keeping it cool).

There I learned about "half squares."

Here is a great tutorial on making them. CLICK HERE Basically you cut out two squares (mine were 7 inches), sew 1/4 inch all the way around then cut corner to corner and you have 4 half squares. BOOM.

Then, vacuum or sweep the floor, grab a glass of wine and start making shapes. I swear after the first two my brain just opened and the patterns just kept coming and this is with only 4 colors!

Anyway, I was inspired by Pintrest and I thought I'd share mine to inspire others...aka make others feel better.

Also, I have to say that you should definately take pictures and look as you go. I was always able to see the patter clearer in the photo vs looking at it drectly. Plus seeing all the photos next to each other helped me think about combining patterns and colors. Of course, you also then have everything stored for any future ideas you may need.

Yay! Quilts!


Thursday, November 01, 2012

Are you here to trick or treat?


Seriously, so before I get it, I need to tell you about our EPIC HALLOWEEN!

Guess who still enjoys scaring the crap out of children?

This Guy!

Holy ape-nuts. That is disturbing.

And this girl!

Wait, wait, wait. Before we get into this, why don't you take a trip down EPIC Halloween Lane and check out the previous years. Also, if you make it to the end there is an awesome Katy Belle palate cleanser.

Year one - the year we came up with the idea to mess with people 10 minutes before we actually did it.

Year two: Madame Bizella raises her zombie slave to give you candy!

Year Three: Doctor Hurtsinside needs your help to get all this candy out of our patient...STAT!

Year Four: My brother was naughty and wouldn't share his candy. I had to punish him. Do you want to have his candy with me?

Year Five: Who wants to watch Stefan fry in Old Smokey? 

Year Six: Are you brave enough to help me explore the tomb of the Pharaoh Stefankamen?

Year Seven: Oh wait! That is this year! The year of the CANDY EATING ZOMBIES OF PASADENA!

I can honestly say we were a bit worried about this year. New city, new house. Would people be trick or treating on our street? Would this be the year Stefan got punched in the face by someone who didn't like being scared? Fears aside, we moved forward.

First you need to board up your house from candy zombies with some very strong cardboard painted to look like wood.

This means lots of staples boxes. Little known fact, zombies hate office supplies. You're welcome.

Next you need to not even try to pretend you trust your husband with a staple gun.

Then you need to make some signs that will warn passers by. These need to be clear and concise.


Next, some caution tape.  

Add your police scanner for sound effects.

A little zombie make up here. A few open wounds there.

Blood on the zombie killer.

Finally, make sure your zombies have had Dominos so that they can really feel the sickness inside.

Now lets go give people nightmares and candy.

 Seriously, that is awful.

What made this year fun was we really had room. For the previous 6 years we were limited to a very small stoop in front of a brownstone in Brooklyn. Side note, Patrick Stewart just moved in down the street from our old place and we could have been doing this for Patrick Stewart!!!!! Make it so number one. Make it so.

Anyway, this year, zombies hid in bushes and when trick or treaters came along, I would run off the porch yelling "Are you here to trick or treat? You better hurry! There are candy eating zombies everywhere and they want your candy! Take it! TAKE ALL OF IT AND RUN!!!"

Enter zombies.

I throw candy at them. 

Trick or treaters scream.

All is well with the world.

Shall we? Lets.

Please meet your candy eating zombies.

We have Missouri loving Josh who, despite having a rough go of it in the SEC this year, was one heck of a terrifying zombie with a preference for tootsie pops.

 Kevin, lover of all things Butterfinger and Twix. (No SEC preference despite being from Tennessee.)

And of course, the love of my life...Stefan, who got what Katy Belle had 2 days ago and now is laying in bed looking about like he does here. 

You: Biz. Are there any trick or treaters in your Halloween experience?

Me: Oh, yes. How about these guys?

 And these guys?

I love this guy. This is after the zombies were retreating.

Just stand and stare. 

Here is where the trick or treaters don't take what I am saying seriously.... 

 ...and here they are running for their lives.

We had two sexy, nurse, teenagers walk up (sorry, no photo) and the joy of all the new space is that Stefan was able to chase them, screaming, down the street. So awesome.

This was one of our little ones. She was great. Once she saw you could pelt a zombie with candy she was in....except I had to keep her from throwing HER bag of candy. 

Surprisingly, it just takes one flavored tootsie roll to take a zombie out. 

Once again, I am surprised at how well kids handle things that are horrifying. 

I gotta say the video is pretty bad. We just never have enough light, but here is one where the group walked up while the zombies were out so it was this amazing chaotic din of trick or treaters and zombies all going at full force all at once. The first 30 seconds are just the screams of children.

Oh man. AWESOME! 

We got this weird group of boys who were not quite teens but not still tweens who literally rode up the driveway on their bikes. I am not sure what they thought was going to happen but we scared at least 3 of them and then there was this one who was "so cool he could not be scared."

I asked him if their costumes were the paper boys from Better Off Dead. "I want my two dollars!"

They did not get the reference.

They did however say that our zombies were better than the Knott's Berry Farm zombies which was a big score since our zombies are all theme park designers. How California.

My Mama is in town and she hid in the bushes with the zombies. She then tried to take her Hilton shuttle back to her hotel but the zombies were having no part of it.

 "ZOMBIES! Let my mother ride in her Hilton shuttle in peace!"

"wha ruuuhhh ruh?" 

Translation "Hershey or Mr Goodbar?"

This is our upstairs neighbor, Eli. He was a scantron test. I LOVE THIS KID!!!

Hey Zombies!


What is the meaning of life?

Stupid zombies. 

The answer is candy and wine and a one eyed cat walking all over you. 

It was a very good time and about like Brooklyn in terms of numbers. This is one of the many things that I love about my life with Stefan. I love that we have this and I love that we will always do this. A big thanks to Kevin, Josh, and Annette who were awesome as zombies and photographers.

And now, what you have really been waiting for. Katy Belle, the googly eyed monster shows you what a googly eyed monster sounds like.