Halloween and Tim Burton Show – How Was Your Weekend?


First, an anecdote. My wife noticed that the light in Jax’s room was on. She found out that earlier in the day, Gray opened the door (it’s generally kept closed and they aren’t allowed in there without asking us first) and left the light on after checking the room out. When she asked why he went in there, especially on this day (Halloween was a huge holiday for Jax) he said he just felt like going in. We’ve always thought Gray has a particularly strong spirit and connection, and I think he was drawn in there. Just a reminder that Jax was with us, celebrating and having fun.

Our family brought a bit of Gotham to our quiet neighborhood on Friday. Gray dressed as Batman, Ellie as Catwoman, my wife was Robin and I painted my face up as The Joker. Marvel visited us in the form of my nephew as The Hulk and my wife’s brother and his fiance brought some DC back as Clark Kent Transforming in to Superman and Lois Lane, respectively.

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We spent the evening on our front lawn with chili, tortillas, corn bread and Halloween goodies. The kids did some crafts, I blasted some music and we watched the night unfold in front of us.

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Much thanks to my wife for making me up as The Joker. Except when she tried to stick the paint brush in my eye. Twice. I yellowed out like a little biiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttccccc…..I don’t know how you women do it. She might as well have poking a machete at my eye when she tried to paint under my bottom eyelashes. I yelled at her to stop. Twice.


I scared the Bat poop out of Gray when I unveiled myself. He was genuinely spooked. Fortunately after a couple of minutes he warmed to the idea. But he cautiously watched me the rest of the night.

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Two houses to our left the neighbors annually spook the neighborhood with a mysterious walk way backed by a disguised voice on a microphone talking to the trick-or-treaters.

“I’d actually feel more comfortable if we started the other way,” he said as we began to head out to beg for candy. Batman’s gotten soft over the years.

He took charge as we paraded through the neighborhood, always pushing our line forward and on to the next house. Ellie always waited for her cousin, Liam. While Gray had no abandon stomping up to front doors, Ellie’s trepidation seemed to subside with The Hulk next to her.


In all, it was a very fun night. Even though our neighborhood was quiet again before 9 p.m. It’s Halloween on a Friday night, people! WTF?

Gray fell asleep on me at the end. He has this ability to turn in to a sack of potatoes once he finally sleeps. Here he is just before pajamas.



We spent most of the day relaxing. At one point, my wife and I were on the couch chilling when Ellie crawls up, lays across me on her back and just hangs out with her head off my left arm, sprawled out. She loves cats. She wants a cat more than a dog. She was Catwoman for Halloween. I swear she was a cat in another life.

At night the kids dressed up once more in their costumes and we went to the Tim Burton Show that Popzilla Gallery and my friend Sam fantastically put together. Strangers kept asking to take pics with the mini Batman and Catwoman. The gallery was jammed and it seemed like a terrific turn out for opening night. The art work was amazing. As we searched for parking in a nearby garage, we passed Edward Scissorhands having his blades strapped on by a friend in jeans and a t-shirt. There were several characters in cosplay roaming around. Gray made sure to stay away from him in the gallery. We bought a few prints, including this Catwoman piece to hang on Ellie’s side of the room.


We finished the night eating dinner at 9 p.m. at Lazy Dog Cafe. We didn’t carry the sack of potatoes to bed until nearly 11 p.m. Needless to say, we spent Sunday recovering.

Enjoy these other pics from the gallery. Go here if you want to buy anything yourself. IMG_4356 IMG_4357 IMG_4361 IMG_4362 IMG_4354 IMG_4360 IMG_4359 IMG_4358 IMG_4363 IMG_4364 IMG_4366


Legoland’s Brick-or-Treat – How Was Your Weekend?

Work is kicking my butt again this week, so a condensed version of How Was Your Weekend.


The twins and I delivered some Alberto’s to my brother-in-law and nephew, Liam, as my sister and niece, Claire, were out. We watched the Royals take a 2-1 lead over the Giants in the World Series. And I ate these colon-clogging carne asada fries.



We considered a night at the Legoland Hotel, but didn’t want to sell our minivan to afford it, so instead, we spent the day in Carlsbad at the theme park. Splash Battle, which Gray would’ve LOVED, was closed for seasonal maintenance. And there were three to four other rides which required the kid to be at least 4-years-old.

Splash_Battle_000With the price of our ticket we had access to Legoland’s Halloween event, Brick-or-Treat. The kids loved it. But it could’ve been better. My two biggest issues:

1. Half of the park was closed off. Instead, all of us were jammed in to the east part of the park, with 20-25 minute lines just to go trick-or-treating. If they opened up the park and had more stations, it’d give much-needed relief of congestion in the paths and lines, and offer a much more pleasant experience for the customer. As it is now, I don’t want to take my kids back.

Which stinks, because I think the potential for a great event is there.


2. They didn’t have Halloween Legos in their stores for sale. I would have purchased pretty much any Halloween Lego I could find, but they weren’t selling any. Why not use this event to sell the seasonal, hard-to-find Halloween sets or pieces in the park, driving sales in the stores in addition to ticket sales for the Lego collectors.


They did have a dance floor, and Ellie took full advantage. And you can see her and Gray have a little power struggle.

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We went back to Saddleback Church for the first time in a while. Rick Warren, the pastor, started a series on awesome relationships, entitled, obviously, “Awesome”. If you’re married and struggling at all with your relationship, this could offer some hope. Even if you’re not struggling, I think it’s worth checking out. At the very least, watch the last 40 minutes, where Rick and his wife, Kay, discuss the seasons of marriage and their very different views and personalities. It’s highly relatable, genuine and refreshing.

View video here.

That night I was at a bar watching the World Series when I received an alert on my phone that baseball prospect Oscar Taveras died in a car accident. His girlfriend also died. My stomach sank. My heart stopped for a few seconds and I forgot to breath. I knew him as a highly touted prospect with the St. Louis Cardinals who hit a big pinch-hit home run in the playoffs and who was going to be considered for a starting outfield spot in the majors next season. Instead, the families of this 22-year-old man and is girlfriend are preparing funeral arrangements in the Dominican Republic. Hold your loved ones a little longer today, people.

Angels Knicked, Soaked Sorrows and Scary Farm – How Was Your Weekend?


I went to Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Kansas City Royals. The one where the Angels lost in extra innings. When a left-handed Royals player slugged a game-winning home run. Um, the second one! Not the 3-2 game (which the same thing happened) but the 4-1 loss.

My friend Sam and I soaked up the parking lot scene under the Big A and they atmosphere and game was great. Until the end.


There’s not a lot I have to say on the Angels getting swept. It’s a huge disappointment and it’s kinda embarrassing. Just remember this: anything can and will happen in the MLB playoffs. Nothing can be taken for granted. Remember the Los Angeles Dodgers 1988 World Series run? They shouldn’t have beaten the New York Mets and Oakland A’s, both far superior teams. But they did, in consecutive series. Anything can and will happen. This doesn’t mean the Angels are a bad team, or that their players choked. Simply, the Royals had better luck in those first two games, the Angels’ bats froze at the worst time of the season and the team that played better in three games (SMALL SAMPLE SIZE!) deserved to advance.


And the sun sets on another Angels season. (So poetic, I know).

Kudos to Kansas City. I’ll be rooting for you in round two.


View from my season seats.

After the game Sam and I soaked up our sorrows with suds at a dive bar in Orange. On the way home I grabbed a box of shame to munch on at home, because I was still hurting at 1 a.m.


Beware, as it’s even more shameful the next day.


As I temporarily filled my aching heart with fatty oils and indigestion, I watched Cinemax’s series The Knick. It’s my favorite show on television. I can’t get enough of Dr. John Thackery’s ego, his genius or his opium den. I sure as hell hope he can find some more cocaine soon.

If Rotten Tomatoes is your thing, then you should be watching this.



The CHOC Walk is on Sunday already! Holy crap that came quickly. We are short of our raised funds from 2012 and 2013 for team Iron Jax and can use all the support we can get to approach those figures. If you can walk with us, great! If you can’t and would like to make a donation, please do so! One dollar, five bucks or $33,000, it’s all good! You can view our team page and sign up/make donations at:


My wife worked, so the twins and I drove out to the CHOC Foundation headquarters to take care of some Iron Jax business. Afterwards, we watched Peter Pan, which Gray borrower from my parents so that I could watch it, not him. I told him I hadn’t seen the movie since I was a kid, and he made it a point for me to watch it. Afterwards, we had to sword fight. Which, for Gray and I, is always a friendly, mellow joust.

And then Ellie got involved. She’d prefer to just shred every one to bits.


Sam and I hit up another dive bar, this time in Tustin, to catch the start of the Angels’ final game of the season. After actually winning for half an inning following Mike Trout’s home run (and only hit of the series), we watched the Angels poop themselves and left for earlier plans.

Those plans being Knott’s Scary Farm! I haven’t been to Scary Farm in 11 years, so I was excited. I don’t really have anything to add if you’ve been there ever. But here are a few random thoughts, followed by my cheesy pictures, which, if you follow me on Instagram (SethTearz), you could have viewed in real time as I snapped them.

  • Elvira looks amazing. She’s 63-years-old and looks like she did in 1987. Her Big Top show was entertaining enough. I just wish it had more of her and less of the dance team from Sonora High School.
  • Go on a Sunday night. We barely waited for any maze or ride. It was fantastic.
  • The Log Ride is just the regular log ride – not scarified. It’s been spruced up, and is far more interesting than it used to be, but holy crap that was the best platform for Scary Farm. So if you decide to ride, just know this.
  • Take a Valium before riding the Silver Bullet. I wish I did.

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Stolen Rainbow, Gray’s Naked Girl and Decorating – How Was Your Weekend?


While hanging out at my sister’s house Friday night, Ellie, who brought her back pack full of goodies to show her cousin Liam, stumbled upon a small, square piece of paper with a rainbow drawn on it in marker. She asked me if she could keep it. I thought it was a temporary tattoo, so I said no. Not like it mattered what it was, though. Later in the night she asked me again. I told her it was Liam’s and that it needed to stay here. She didn’t ask me again.


The three amigos ran wild as 3-year-olds do. The boys dressed up as The Hulk and Spider Man while Ellie shamefully wore Liam’s bear costume from last Halloween. She forced a smile for the camera but seemed uncomfortable from the get-go in it.



Earlier in the day my friend Sam of samcarterart.com posted a preview of a piece he created for POPzilla Gallery’s November 1 “The Burton Show,” which recognizes the films of director Tim Burton in the form of pop art. Sam called it Día De Los Rey Calabaza (Day of the Pumpkin King) as he mashed up Jack Skellington’s face from The Nightmare Before Christmas with the stylization of Dia De Los Muertos art (which I love, I mean who doesn’t?). I think I want this tattooed all over my body. EVERYWHERE.



My wife and I split the kids up Saturday for a couple of date nights. Ellie and I saw The Boxtrolls, which hit movie theaters this weekend, while Gray and my wife went shopping. Weird role reversal, eh? Gray seemed timid of those trolls in boxes. I think Ellie just went because she saw I had a box of Reece’s Pieces.


We both liked it. The visual splendor supports this unconventional children’s movie littered with made-for-adult jokes and a charming group of body-shamed trolls (thus the boxes). Oh, and it’s stop animation. Which in and of itself makes the move freakin’ amazing.

While we waited for our driver, Ellie’s eyes locked on a black limo parked outside the theater. Convertibles and limos. She loves them.



The kids and I played sidekicks to the decorating leading roles of my wife and her mom as they prepped the house for Halloween. Between Gray and Ellie, they said this was the best Halloween party ever about 33 times. At the end of the night they asked if we had to take down the decorations. Gray even wanted me to pass out candy if someone knocked at the door, because he had to go poop and couldn’t do it himself.

I asked the kids about their classmates, and what they were going to dress as for Halloween. Ellie had no idea. Gray said three of the girls were going as Elsa, Anna and the Little Mermaid. I asked what his girlfriend, Hayley, was dressing up as. He quietly said a naked girl.

I have to put in to context what a naked girl means, from his point of view. Ellie’s had a Party City costume magazine rolled up in that back pack of hers. In it is some sort of slutty Rainbow Brite girl who looks ready to drive out to Indio for a rave. Because her belly shows, they think she’s naked.

I asked Gray to show me a picture of the costume Hayley’s going to wear.


She’s just missing a glow stick and a pacifier.

Speaking of rainbows, remember that paper Ellie wanted to grab from her cousin’s house with the rainbow on it? She pulled it out of her back pack. Yep, she stole it. So we’ll be returning that to Liam at preschool on Tuesday. Sorry, Karis.

Oh, and I signed up to Pinterest while looking up Halloween decorations because they realllllllllllly want you to use their app, which requires registration. So for the few that started following me, know you’ll be disappointed. Unless you, too, are infatuated with a credit card sized knife that fits in your wallet.

Here are some shots of our Halloween decorations (I’ll post some night time photos on Instagram tonight). How was your weekend?

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Water Play, Snapped and a New Niece – How Was Your Weekend?



Ellie is a natural athlete. She has good hand-eye coordination, fantastic motor skills and excellent balance. She’s pretty strong, too. Whereas Gray needs hard work and a passion to reach his goals, Ellie picks up new things naturally and gets it. The most obvious illustration of this is baseball.

Typically Ellie would rather watch Gray swing off the tee or play catch. She’s indifferent to the whole thing. Meanwhile, it’s Gray getting in the extra hacks as he roleplays as Mike Trout with the Angel game on in the background. His clunky swing has shown some improved results, but it’s better designed to wield a sword.

So when Ellie grabbed the tee, set it up in the kitchen and said she was going to hit a home run like Mike Trout, I felt warm fuzzies all over. Gray cheered her on from the couch with a red foam finger and an Angels knit cap.

Between swings she’d read the score, which has become a hobby of hers over the past couple of weeks. Most of the time she’s correct. She even knows the Angels’ top three hitters, in order: Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Josh Hamilton’s been hurt since forever, or else she’d probably know him, too.

Below is a clip of our night.


To beat the heat while my wife slept off a hospital shift I took the kids to my parents’ house for water play. Gray and Ellie bounced around from different inflatables filled with water while rocking out to the Frozen channel (it’s all Disney songs) on iTunes Radio.


We just hung out, got wet and enjoyed a few hours in the sun. It was nice. Gray had a good time, I’d say.


“This is a real fun party,” Gray enthusiastically said. Four different times. Ellie agreed.

“This is the best party of the year!” she shouted. No idea why they thought it was a party, but they had a blast.


Our plan was to go to the beach all day. But the thought of crowds, sand and constant heat kept us at home. Instead, my dad and I took the kids to the beach for dinner.


We grubbed at Harbor House Cafe in Sunset Beach. Our shakes melted within minutes of hitting the table and my burger, requested as medium, came back black. Once past the edges it wasn’t as bad, but the taste of the meat itself completely lacked. It tastes way better at 1 a.m. after a night of drinking. Or breakfast. Get there before noon and you’re likely to be okay.


Afterwards we drove up to Seal Beach and walked on the pier. They got their feet in the sand a bit, we snapped some sunset photos headed home.





From what I can only assume was the result of an exhausting Saturday, Ellie woke up with rage. She started off okay before losing her shit.


I was in the bathroom getting ready and Gray was laying in a toy doggy bed pretending to be a dog. He got up and Ellie swooped in. Eventually they shared until Gray knocked her on the head or something. It wasn’t anything serious, but he wanted the doggy bed back. While he rest on his right side, head on the ground, Ellie got up on her knees, her Hello Kitty wrist wallet in hand, lifted it over her head and viciously brought it down to the bath mat just to the right of Gray’s head. She missed.


But she didn’t miss the second time. She did the same thing, clocked him on the forehead and sent Gray, normally a pretty tough kid, running crazy. I put Ellie in time out and went to comfort Gray. Blood ran from his head. Oh shit she beat him good. Kristina patched him up while I tried to deal with Ellie. Inside the wrist wallet was a plastic hot dog, a key chain and a toy baby bottle. Whatever it was that got him got him good.

graycutGirls are insane.

My sister manufactures bowling bowls designed as babies, and she delivered her second at 3:21 p.m. Claire Anna, my niece, weighed 10 pounds, 8 ounces and is 21 inches long. Her son, Liam, was about 9 1/2 pounds. I spent most of the day at the hospital waiting for chubs to visit the world while my wife made sure Ellie didn’t boil Gray’s Pluto stuffed animal for dinner.


It’s hard being at that hospital. I mean, I’m soooo happy for my sister and her husband and I’m excited to have a niece and a girl for Ellie to grow up with. Thrilled that mom and baby are completely healthy. But Jax died next door at CHOC. and we should have had one baby in April (miscarriage in 2013) and should be due for a December delivery (miscarriage in April). But as you recall, I’m pretty good at pushing my shit down, so I did that, focused on happy times for my family and waited for my own melancholy and infinite sadness for my ride home. And hoped our chance would come again.

Disneyland, Blocktober, And the Twins Learn What a Fox Says – How Was Your Weekend?


We went to B.J.’s Restaurant & Brewhouse and my wife guilted me out of ordering a beer. With just a two-second look. Instead, I ordered a Diet Pepsi. When I stroke out, that’ll show her. Then we went to Party City. Which is just about the worst place in the world to go the weekend before Halloween. If you needed a reason to start hating people, go there. I was pushing the twins around in their double-wide stroller, so that didn’t help. Nor did the obstacles the store throws in between aisles. Or the one way only wide alleys packing products on each side. But I suppose plenty of store space wouldn’t have made the other customers less self-centered, pushy, inconsiderate and messy than they already were. Man, I feel old.


One benefit of participating in the CHOC Walk as a walker is Disneyland offers greatly discounted tickets for those with wristbands from the event, on the day of the event only. The caveat is you have to use the tickets by the second week of November. We bought Disneyland tickets only, as opposed to the Park Hopper which also allows you into Disney’s California Adventure. Tickets cost just $48, down from the $92 that they retail for. And even though we just went for Mickey’s Halloween Party on Wednesday, we crammed in a day at the Magic Kingdom around my wife’s work schedule. I thought it’d be fun to not tell the kids and just show up. Which we did. But they weren’t as thrilled as I’d hoped.

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That’s the reaction I wanted.

It was really crowded. But since we were just there on Wednesday, and already went on the Haunted Mansion/Nightmare Before Christmas twice, we skipped the one-hour-minimum wait. We only hit up Pirates of the Caribbean once. And instead focused our time to some new experiences.

Gray’s obsessed with pirates, but we haven’t hit up the pirate ship at Disneyland yet, so I made that a priority. We climbed aboard the Columbia with his Jack Sparrow hat and sword in tow and set out to pillage, plunder, rifle and loot.

He was beyond thrilled.




Blowing stuff up.

Blowing stuff up.

Jackpot. Real swords.

Jackpot. Real swords.

Towards the end of the voyage Gray approached a boy, probably about 4-years-old, geared up in a pirate outfit, a drawn-on beard and holding a sword. The boy looked nervous as I did. I totally thought a sword fight would break out. Fortunately the older boy wanted nothing to do with my crazy little swashbuckler.

Once docked we made our way across the Rivers of America on a log raft and boarded Pirate’s Lair at Tom Sawyer Island. I was too busy keeping track of Gray and Ellie as they explored to snap pics (it’s stressful!), so here are some I’ve found online.

Graphic from ocregister.com

Graphic from ocregister.com

From Mouseplanet.com

From Mouseplanet.com



The kids cruised caves, climbed steps, bounced on bridges and avoided a herd of older kids chasing each other before we came across a motherload of treasure, to Gray’s delight.




We probably would’ve spent the rest of the day on the island. Unfortunately, it was closing 45 minutes after we arrived. This is what makes getting a Disneyland Annual Pass tempting. Being able to dress him up, load him with pirate gear and spend three hours pretending to kidnap and ravage and not give a hoot. But then there’s the suffocating trek back to the Pirates of the Caribbean line. And my idea of timeless fun evaporates as I want to stab everyone in the carotid with a pen.

Meanwhile, Ellie spent most of the day either being held or in tears. She seemed tired. But then she’d say her toes hurt, and that she couldn’t walk. And if you looked at her wrong she’d cry. I don’t remember what this tantrum was about, but she was u-p-s-e-t.


The one thing that did make her smile and her forget her worries was the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride. On this one, you shoot targets with your blaster while sitting in a moving car. She easily beat Gray both times we rode it. And she was so excited afterwards she chose the blaster as the souvenir to take from the park that day.


After a full day at Disneyland we all slept in. Ellie went shopping with my wife and her mom to prep for Halloween week while Gray and I played at home.

At night I took the kids to Saddleback Church’s Blocktober party, which each of the church’s campuses put on for their local communities. In Corona trunk-or-treat cars created an alley for kids to score candy, there were bounce houses, a mechanical bull, food and a dance party area.

No, Ellie wasn’t dressed as a stripper. She’s supposed to be Minnie Mouse. But ya, she looks like a stripper.

One of the songs during the dance party was the oddly popular The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?). If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch the clip below. The whole thing. You need to get caught up on pop culture.

After we left the party I started singing the song, and the kids thought it was funny. Soon, they were giggling after every chorus. So I loaded up YouTube on my phone so they could watch the video. The rest of the night was filled with both of them, in the dark van WAIVING GLOW STICKS, chanting “What Does the Fox Say? ring-ding-ding-ding-ding.” And they were dressed in costumes. I felt like I was transported to an empty spot in the desert that you only find because you stumbled upon a flier while exiting the 91 freeway in Riverside. I just needed some E.

Meanwhile, my wife and her mom beautifully decorated our the house for Halloween. After taking a year off, we’re back to hosting Halloween at our house and in our neighborhood. It’s always a good time. If you’re interested in joining us, hit me up and I’ll give you the details.

How was your weekend?

Fake Baseball Playoffs, Gettin’ Halloween-y and Daddy Can’t Dress the Kids No Mo – How Was Your Weekend?


Ian and I didn’t leave Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights until 2 a.m. That’s what happens when it takes 2 1/2-hours to get there from Orange, the place is packed with college kids and lines take two hours. After traffic leaving the venue and dropping him off, my head didn’t hit my pillow until 4 a.m. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. And that’s late for me.

So I slugged on at work. Minus the foggy spells, occasional nausea and yawns, I held up okay. I don’t know how my wife and other night workers do this. You craze.

My wife worked so I ordered Papa John’s. My kids get so friggin’ excited anytime a pizza delivery person comes. It’s like it’s their new best friend.


Trying to soak up Halloween time, I thought it’d be fun to show them the Disney animated short film The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I was obsessed with this as a kid. I made the mistake of laying on the couch to watch it with them. I woke up two-thirds into it after Ellie kicked me in the stomach. Here’s a link to the flick if you haven’t seen. And please, read the comments. Please.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big baseball geek. Our Strat-o-Matic league began the playoffs, and since I won my division, I got to play in the Divisional Series. My team, which won 91 games, beat the best team in my league, which won 116, Friday night thanks mainly to Mark Trumbo’s two three-run home runs in Game 4 of the series. His second home run came in the bottom of the 9th with two outs as I was losing 5-4. So yeah, I’m pretty in love with him right now. We are looking to fill some openings in the league, so hit me up if you’re interested.

So, so phalic.

So, so phalic.


The kids wanted to play with blocks. Apparently they went to the Architectural School of Dr. Seuss.


With my wife asleep to prep for night two at the hospital, I needed to get the kids out of the house, so we went to Party City to shop for my Halloween costume. Which they didn’t have. After lunch at Wendy’s (I made Ellie try a french fry dipped in a chocolate frosty. And she liked it. It thought it was bleh.) we tried the local Halloween store. Gray was fickle about going, because he gets scared.

We parked, and both kids wanted me to hold them. I explained I couldn’t, but they didn’t want to go home. As we approached the entrance I picked Gray up, because he was panicking, and held Ellie’s hand. Turn up the volume in this video to sense the fright.

We entered the door and immediately zombies, skeletons and monsters surrounded us. Gray dug his face into my shoulder as I hurried down an aisle of kids costumes. We found the adult section, and again I couldn’t find the costume I was shopping for.

I let them look around a bit, then got them outside to leave. Ellie and I were heading for the car and Gray turned around and wanted to go back in. I told him he was scared and I wasn’t going to carry him, and that if he wanted to go back in he’d have to walk like a big boy. He thought about it for a few seconds and then headed in. Alone.

Watch how Gray just OWNS the store now with his new-found courage.

Gray is fascinated by skeletons playing guitars. And he came across this dandy, although it’s a banjo. And then Ellie broke out in some sort of jig.

With Gray’s fear gone, he went crazy. We searched every aisle, cautiously aware of the zombies, but not freaked out by them like before. He found an ax he fell in love with. Then he planted an Indiana Jones hat on his dome, called it a cowboy hat, and then hacked away at zombies, the floor and innocent store patrons.

Gray was pissed we didn't take these home with us.

Gray was pissed we didn’t take these home with us.

Ellie sassed her away around the store, now uber comfortable as well. She’d yell at me from across the store, prance in a mirror and then threw on this cowboy hat. We spent an hour and 15 minutes in that store. And it took a ton of convincing to get Gray to leave.

Hand on the hips???? ***facepalm***

Hand on the hips???? ***facepalm***

At dusk we strolled through our neighborhood to find homes decorated for Halloween. It took us down a perpendicular street to two toddlers playing next to one of the more lit-up houses around us. The boy in the Batman shirt was 3 and the girl, Brooklyn, was close to 3. Gray walked up in his Superman shirt already into this. They ran around and played awkwardly, as toddlers do, for thirty minutes. Brooklyn’s mom loaded my kids up with juice boxes, which they rarely ever have, and we walked back home for dinner.

Kids digging our neighbor's Halloween decorations.

Kids digging our neighbor’s Halloween decorations.

After the kids went to bed my Strat-o-Matic team started the next round of the playoffs, the League Championship Series. I lost the first game 5-4, and the second 4-1. So ya. That Friday night high from Mark Trumbo was fleeting. Oh, and the big jerk got hurt grounding out and is now out the rest of the series. I’m screwed.


In another effort to get the hell out of the house and let my wife sleep in silence, I took the kids to Tom’s Farm to check out the pumpkin patch.

“Where’s Tom and his farm?” Gray asked on the drive there.

I thought it’d be fun and easy to throw some wife-beaters on the kids and go. I mean, it’s a frickin’ pumpkin patch in deep Corona, right? My wife thought it was horrible as she scrolled through the photos on my phone later that night.

Ellie getting to work.

Ellie getting to work.

“We’re not white trash and we’re not homeless,” she said. I laughed. She didn’t.


Ellie picked up like 10 pumpkins before I banned her.

Ellie picked up like 10 pumpkins before I banned her.

Getting her coloring on.

Getting her coloring on.



From behind, it's a mini Jax Teller.

From behind, it’s a mini Jax Teller.

As we left Gray kept asking to see his new friend Brooklyn. Neither kid wanted to go home yet, so I negotiated some play time with their new friends if they were outside playing at their house. As we approached their houses we creeped by like an ominous vehicle in South Central neighborhood in the ’90s. They weren’t out playing so we went home and took a bath, then a nap.

At night we went to church, dropped the kids off at my parents for a sleepover and went on a date. To Lucille’s for dinner, and then home. My wife was exhausted, I was still sluggish from my two hours of sleep early Friday morning and really, just being together without kids is a big enough win for the both of us at this point.

Mickey’s Halloween Party is coming up this Wednesday, along with a trip to the pumpkin patch at Tanaka Farms. Also, keep your eye out for Jax’s second year of Halloween this week.

How was your weekend?