Friday, August 28, 2009

The teeth return...

Just wanted to note this down, for future reference: Ethan's teeth are coming in-- again. The two teeth on either side of his front top teeth are already through the gums. That makes six altogether, so far. I swear, this kid is going to have a mouth full of teeth before he's one year old! I guess this is where I can finally get happy about formula versus nursing. ;)

Missing my baby already...

This is the joy of my life, the boy who we will miss while we are on our adventure... although I can't wait to share adventures with him in the future. We are actually already planning trips to take with Ethan once we come back from this one. Is that crazy, or what?

Anyway... I am just so grateful to be this boy's mother, and to have the chance to share a life with him. What an unbelievable miracle he has been, from before he was born, all the way through the scary times surrounding his unexpectedly early birth, and even more so now. I am so thankful for this awesome, amazing child, and for this time right now, right here; how did I get so lucky? Sometimes I get jittery about saying such things, even in a blog, because of the old folk tales about appearing too happy with your lot; you know, if you are too loud in your happiness or too joyous about your blessings, they will be taken from you. It's like calling an evil eye down upon you and yours, or something. But I only entertain those ideas for a moment, and then get back to thanking my lucky stars (and God) for this gift. Now, if only I can hold onto this feeling even when we go through the turbulence of adolescence... :)

My darling boy, August 2009:

This kid has the most engaging laugh EVER! We love to hear him giggle and chortle away.

Our little water-baby... he absolutely adores bath-time, just like mommy. And I absolutely adore those almond eyes. Perfection!
Ethan 8-1-09

So, now do you see why it's going to be so hard to be without him? :)

Almost gone!

We leave early tomorrow morning, and the knowledge that we will soon be on our way to Burning Man fills me with mixed emotions. My excitement and anticipation over the trip is tempered by my sense of loss and concern over having to leave my son with friends while we are gone. Yes, I know that people have been doing that for a long, long time; but isn't it funny that everyone I speak to mentions that they never left their child overnight until s/he was two, three, even four years old? I guess I'm being an abnormal parent to willingly leave my child when he is under a year old... not that there's much I can do about it now. And would I cancel everything, at this late date? Really? I don't think so.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Poem: Sunday Morning

Time for another poem... This one is actually the first one I wrote after meeting Joel in 2005. It's important to remember the beginning of things, every so often.

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"sunday morning"

this fluttering stillness
   like the calm in a raft on gentle waves
   like the quiet of grass under swaying trees
   like the silent activity behind drawn glass doors...
it tickles my heart,
making it twirl and pirouette
to the sound of giggles and clapping hands.

you are a sanctuary
and i rest within your hushed grove
trailing my hands on your viney statues
breathing in your green vitality
digging my toes into the mossy undergrowth
and reveling in this rich serenity.

this eager restfulness
   like a darkened theater just before the show
   like children on the stairs early Christmas morning
   like a mother-to-be with one hand on her belly...
it blossoms inside me,
making me smile for no reason
while songs tumble into a glorious symphony inside my head.

you are seeping into me
a green and blue osmosis, filling up my empty spaces
bringing an energy laced with tranquility
the pause before speaking
the moment before movement
when the world is full of infinite possibilities...

and the only thing that frightens me
is the ease with which i'm falling
or floating, really,
gently shifting by degrees,
making it less obvious to the naked eye
that you have already begun
laying down roots.

© MSE, 24-06-2005

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Clock is Ticking...

There is less than one week until we leave for our camping trip. For the first time, we will be separated from Ethan for more than a day... in fact, it'll be over a week. When I mentioned it to his dad, all I got back in response was "Don't worry, I seriously doubt he'll even remember this happening." Here's the thing: I'm not so much worried about him remembering, but about me remembering! I'm starting to feel pretty anxious about how I'm going to handle being away from him for so long. I originally had all of these plans to do or have "just in case" while we're away, such as driving my own car up alongside Joel and the others, just in case something happened and I had to leave early; or bringing a satellite phone just in case something happened, so that I could find out immediately with a daily phone check-in; and so on.

The problem is this: The more I try to plan for "just in case" scenarios, the more worried I get. It's one thing to have a will or Child Care Power of Attorney in place whenever we leave for an extended period of time; it's a whole other situation when you start taking extra vehicles and having specific phone check-ins while you're on a vacation/adventure. I worry about what might happen if I actually do take my own vehicle, and then I do get some type of emergency phone call during the week we're gone... I can't even begin to picture myself driving back the seven to eight hours in any sort of rational state of mind. What I could see happening is me freaking out, then trying to drive back but driving back too fast or too recklessly, and then making the situation even worse!

Then, what about the satellite phone? Am I really going to force Ethan's carers to be at their phone at a specific, pre-determined hour every day, to call in and prove that he's still alive and kicking? Am I seriously going to expect that I will actually be around my campsite, with access to someone who has keys to the motorhome (because obviously I'd have to lock up the satellite phone at all times out there, it's a pretty hot commodity in a no-cell-phone region), at that same pre-determined time? How would I even make sure that happened? What if there was a time when we missed each other for some reason; would I then fixate on it and freak out even more? Knowing myself, the answer is yes.

I have this regrettable tendency to worry over even the most minute possibility of risk or danger, and there are times when my mind just starts this wagon wheel of worry, revolving around the same fears over and over again, until that's all I can think about. I've really been thinking about it a lot for the past week, and I've decided that I have to trust my cares and my own judgment in choosing them to take care of Ethan for us; I have to trust my instincts that he will be okay, and that we will be okay without him for awhile. If I try to account for every detail and bring "just in case" with me on our trip, there is no way I will be able to free myself, let go, and enjoy the experience. And really, if I do that, what is the point in going?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Poem: Vertigo

So, I write poetry. Yeah, I know, it's such a cliche to write terrible poetry, but I just can't help myself. I haven't written in a long, long time, though; perhaps because of the whole pregnancy/newborn/stay-at-home mom situation. But what kind of excuse is that? Poets have been writing since language first became written down, and they've written during wartime, from prison cells, while trekking through the wilderness, and yes, even while staying at home with the kiddies. No more excuses for me, I guess.

But while I try to revive my motivation to write, I'll stoke the creative fires by posting some older poems. This one, called "vertigo", I wrote in summer of 2005, a couple of months after first meeting the man who would become my husband.

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(on finding myself disoriented after you leave)

i am...
things are different, now.
a little bit off.

it is as if a stranger
has been in my house.
i cannot describe what has been
moved, or taken, or shifted, but--
things have changed.

at night i sleep fitfully,
pillows too warm and
mattress too soft,
unable to get comfortable
in my own bed.

i am often hungry... and
just as often cannot seem to find
my appetite.
i thirst for something.

my mind circles around
this strangeness inside me,
pushing and pulling at its fabric,
trying to make this new thing
comfortable, familiar.

even then, here on my bed is
an imprint, this space
in the shape of you...
and me trying to
pour myself into it.

© MSE, 28-08-2005

j-m montage

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Creepy, crawly...

After several weeks of practice, which involved push-ups, lots of "walking" with mom and dad (and anyone else, really), and tons of false starts, Ethan finally figured out the crawling process today. For a few weeks now he has been so, so close to crawling that *all* of us were starting to get a little frustrted, not just him. He would get up on his hands and knees, sort of rev up a little bit, and even moved his legs forward one at a time, and then-- nothing. He couldn't quite get the part about moving your arms forward, too. Instead, he would lock his upper body into place, so that after moving his legs forward a bit he was basically stuck. At that point, he would drop to the floor and go back to his marine-style belly crawl, which he's pretty good at. But tonight, the day after he turned 8 months old, he did it-- he moved his arms forward in sync with his legs! He may have only taken a few "steps" forward, but this is only the beginning. He is now, officially, a crawler!


Which is scary. It's also funny timing, because just this afternoon we all went out to Babies 'R Us to buy some home safety gear (latches, edge guards, etc.). Maybe he knew we were finally getting ready for a mobile baby, and so decided that now he was free to finally take the next step. Or maybe we just lucked out and waited until the next-to-last second before prepping the house!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Baby, you're a genius!

My newest discovery in the world of parenting...

Ethan is completely taken by his new DVD. He sits and takes it all in, completely silent, just chewing on his seat strap and mellow as can be. Every so often, he lets out a delighted chuckle, like when the toy duckie quacks its way across the screen. He is mesmerized, and so am I-- watching him. The DVD seems to be perfectly suited to infants, with its bright colors, simple presentation of common animals, and light, cheery music throughout the movie. I also like the way they show the real animals as well as toy versions, drawings, and puppets of the animals, to give kids more of the general concept of "dog" rather than just "golden retriever".

I can't wait to get more of the other Baby Einstein DVDs for Ethan. I'd been trying to get them at our local library, but they are constantly checked out, and even have waiting lists of parents wanting to get ahold of them. Now I can see why! I checked out Amazon, and they have tons (of course) of the movies, but I got this particular one-- Neighborhood Animals-- at Once Upon A Child in Modesto for only $10, brand new. Great deal! They have several other DVDs there, so I'm going to go back soon to raid the shelf. Out of my way, moms! I'm on a mission!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sweet love, or zombie hunger?

Ethan is learning... I think. Either that, or he's trying to win me over with his sweetness so that he can then surprise attack me and devour my face. Here's the sitch.

Lately, we have begun a bedtime routine with Ethan. He takes a bath, which he loves dearly, and then he changes into his jammies. (Which for some reason I keep wanting to call his "nightie"; must be leftovers from growing up with all girls and then with an only niece.) After that, we go into the living room and read a couple of short books. The last book we read together is something about bedtime, or night-time, or sleeping; you get the general idea. After that, it's time to say goodnight to all of his friends throughout the house. His panda, named "Penguin", is the first animal we say goodnight to, with a big hug and a kiss. Then we we move on to Joel's photo of a bee (Ethan is completely thrilled by the "bzzz" sound. It's hilarious). Then, we work our way down the hall, saying goodnight to baby Ethan's portrait on the wall, and then to the bathtub (his favorite place), and then it's finally into his room. We say goodnight to his frog vaporizer, his piggy bank, and his giant teddy bear. And this is where it gets kind of weird.

I noticed the last couple of nights that Ethan started to open up his mouth while leaning in to the bear for his goodnight "kiss". I just figured that he was trying to give the bear his own kiss, and hadn't quite figured out the open-versus-closed mouth thing yet. So I wrote it off as a sweet new gesture Ethan's picking up. But then the other day, he leaned in towards me with that same open-mouth "kiss" that I thought was so adorable, and so I let him get all the way to my face-- where he proceeded to chomp down with all four of his razor-sharp teeth. That HURT! I was sort of unsure what to do next; do I yank myself back out of harm's way, or would that actually make things worse? He had a pretty good-sized hunk of cheek in his little mouth, and didn't seem like he was letting go any time soon. Long story short (too late!), I stuck my fingers in between his lips and my face and he eventually pulled back, and then-- in a simultaneously cute and disturbing way-- giggled with delight.

So now I don't know whether or not to trust this kid... does he love me, or does he hunger for my tasty flesh? And is that why he likes his formula so warm-- because it's so similar to body temp? Is he a changeling? A ZOMBIE changeling? Guess I'll have to keep an even closer watch on him from now on... and hide the "how-to" flicks like Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later. No need for an instructional video with this kid!


It's amazing how easy it is to be disappointed in others. Maybe it's just me... maybe I set standards that are too high for anyone to reach, or maybe I don't communicate just how important certain things are to me, or maybe it's just that I am naturally a pessimistic person and so being disappointed is sort of what I expect out of life... who knows. Either way, it seems like the minute I find myself feeling positive and trusting towards someone else and relying on them for something, that is the exact moment when I find out that I can't actually depend on them the way I thought I could.

Why is that? Am I purposely blinding myself to the fact that I chose the wrong person to trust, or that I trusted that person with the wrong thing? Or am I expecting fallible people to never make mistakes? I wish I knew the answer. I suspect that the fault lies with me, rather than with anyone else. If I could just pinpoint what it is, maybe I could start to deal with it in a way that makes things a bit easier on everyone-- myself included.

I mean, it's no fairy tale going through life like this; it's a lot of pressure to worry and expect the worse, and more than that, to actually see your fears realized. There must be a way to be more accepting of others (and myself), and to be a bit more generous with my forgiveness. But right now, it feels like a betrayal every time, and it makes my heart pound, my pulse flutter, my skin flush, and my breath stick in my throat. I can't sleep, I can't focus, I can't seem to get my head straight while I'm dealing with all of the emotions brought on by shattered expectations.

I guess one solution would be to stop having them. Expectations, that is. But is it even possible? Or desirable, for that matter? I'm not sure. But then, it's midnight, and I'm not sure of much except that I'm feeling a bit like a sailor trying to come in for the night, and wondering why someone shuttered the lighthouse.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Developmentally speaking...

Both of Ethan's top teeth cut through this past week. That makes it official: Four teeth before 8 months old. I always knew this kid would be an over-achiever...

Well, actually, I read in one of his developmental milestones books that many children cut their first four teeth by their 8th month. But guess what? He's still not quite 8 months old (though he will be this weekend), so HA!! He beat those other kids! And so the competitiveness begins... :)

Seriously, though, I am impressed by how much this baby has changed in just a few short months. It seems like just a moment ago that we were working on rolling over, or even just strengthening his neck enough to hold his head up. Not anymore, bub! He has those down pat. He's currently fixated on standing, walking (while holding our hands, of course), and just generally getting around. He's not too enthralled with crawling, yet; he mostly does a sort of marine-crawl on his belly, but he can really get some distance doing that. He is also working on getting himself to sit up alone, but we aren't quite there yet. On the other hand, he is perfect at sitting up by himself, and is quite possibly the twistiest twister in the history of twisted twisting. I can hardly change his diaper-- the minute you lay him down on the changing table, he twists his whole body over onto his stomach within three seconds. It's like trying to change a writhing snake, or something. Once he's on his stomach, of course, he's happy.

That is, he's happy until he decides it's time to try climbing out of the changing table, at which point the wrestling game begins again. I've already had him roll off enough surfaces in this house; I can't really take another one. I'm beginning to wonder what the solution is, here, to the whole Twisty McMover problem; do I just have to get really, really fast at the diaper change, or is there some way to distract and entertain him while I get the dirty business done, or what? I know there has to be an answer, but for some reason those baby development books skip this particular quandary. Hmm...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kaiser to the Rescue!

The final word came in today: Our application for Kaiser Permanente's Child Health Plan was approved! That means that Ethan will be covered from September 1, 2009 through 2011, at the incredible cost of $15 per month. In fact, the well-child visits are free (to 23 months), immunizations are free, and regular visits are only a $5 co-pay. How unbelievable is that? I mean, the only way we qualified for Kaiser's plan is because I lost my job, which allowed us to finally fall into the correct income bracket, but still... what a miracle! So far, we've had Ethan covered on Anthem Blue Cross, and we've been paying $67/month-- but the plan also had a $1500 deductible, 30% co-insurance, and a $30 co-pay at each visit. We already hit our deductible a few months ago, when he was sick and there was no other option but the emergency room (since his doctor's office at the time didn't provide urgent care services)... ugh. I knew there was a reason I didn't like Anthem Blue Cross.

There is only one thing that I'm concerned we might lose by going with Kaiser: his current pediatrician. A couple of months ago, we finally switched from his original pediatrician over to Valley Oak Pediatrics. The difference was like night and day; for the first time, we felt comfortable and happy and welcome at his doctor's office. The providers are all very kind and knowledgeable, and his doctor in particular is warm and caring and I just love her. It was so nice to find an office where I could see Ethan coming back for years and years, and enjoying his visits, and actually feeling attached to his doctor, like so many of my friends had said of their own children. At his original doctor's office, there was just zero friendliness. The doctor was very cold, stand-offish, reserved, and clinical.

In fact, his first doctor was also the one who gave us our initial scares about the baby, when we brought him in for his first couple of appointments. The first week he was born, she had me take him in for a chest x-ray, telling me that not only was his jaw very recessed (!), but that his chest cavity was much too narrow and that I needed to get it checked out immediately. Hellooooo!!! Talk about nerve-wracking. In the x-ray waiting room, I felt like bawling my eyes out, just thinking about this brand-new baby boy who might have serious medical problems already... but of course, it turned out to be perfectly fine. And his "recessed jaw"? Looks great to every other physician and nurse who has seen him. Oh, and at our two-month appointment, right before I finally cancelled our connection to that office, his doctor tells us that Ethan might have to have a helmet fitted to his skull to help re-shape his head, because it's much too flat on one side. How could we have avoided this, we asked? Oh, you should have been switching his head from one side to the other each time he slept, she said; as in, nap 1 = left side, nap 2 = right side, etc. Um, do you think she might have mentioned it at our *FIRST WEEK APPOINTMENT*, perhaps? Yeah. Anyway, I think you can see why I was pretty upset about it.

But back to the current doctor: I just hope and pray that they accept Kaiser at Valley Oak. Then we can keep going to his awesome doctor for as long as we live here. Woo-hoo!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sew, you're saying there's a chance...

Sewing: Who knew it could be so much fun? I just got my first sewing machine, and I've decided that sewing could probably give my other hobbies-- scrapbooking, making DVD slideshows, even cooking-- a run for the title. It's awesome! I already made my first vest for Burning Man, and it was a blast. Okay, okay, so it's a little lopsided, and maybe a bit shorter than planned, and I somehow ended up "shrinking" it a bit, but luckily it's going to Burning Man, and none of that is going to be noticed. In fact, it might even be celebrated, simply because I made it with my own two hands. Oh, and the, uh, you know, sewing machine.

The vest, by the way, is a scarlet furry material that is going to ROCK the playa. Woo-hoo!

I will be posting up pics soon of my upcoming projects: The purple cloud material that is in some strange way vaguely reminiscent of cowhide, and that will become vests; the furry black & white skull & crossbone pants; the short, jagged edge capri-length pirate pants; the furry wrist cuffs, and the polka-dot shrug (with matching skirt), and anything else my inspired mind can come up with while staring at the material we have. Yard sale holders, beware: I'm on the prowl, and I won't take no for an answer!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Just in case...

I love this kid. I mean it-- I really, really love this son of mine. And not just because he's so adorable, or he has such a sweet smile, or his chittery-chattery laugh is so infectious... I love him because he is this physical embodiment of everything that is good about me, and everything that is good about Joel, and everything that is good about people in general-- and I am lucky enough to be his mother. I get the honor of taking care of him and helping him learn how to live in this world we've made. I get to nurture him through the achy, sore, yucky times, and sing along with him through the fun, silly, happy times. It's an amazing gift, and I feel so lucky to be able to share this time with him.

And it's really crazy how much this experience-- motherhood-- has made me slow down and take in every moment as if there may never be another one. Watching my son sleep and play and gaze with curiosity at everything around him has made me strangely and intensely aware of my own mortality. I've been really fixated lately on making sure that Joel and I have wills done before we leave on our trip at the end of August. Not that I think anything is going to happen, mind you; it's more like a "just-in-case-something-happens-while-you're-gone" policy, right alongside getting life insurance and making sure you have someone to water the plants or pick up the mail. I can't imagine leaving for a long trip without the baby, and not having something written down that designates a guardian for him. And I want to have videos and pictures attached to the will or accessible to the guardians (and updated regularly, of course) so that he will always have these memories saved for him. And unfortunately, the more I think about this topic, the more morbid it sounds.

It's not that I want to focus on where Ethan would go if anything happened to Joel and me, or fixate on the possibility of death; but now that I'm a parent, I can't help but have something in place for my son. I am responsible for him, whether I'm here or not, and that responsibility will never end. Ever. So if there's anyone out there who hasn't made a will yet, or set up guardians for their kids, do us all a favor and get it done. The one thing a loving parent does not want is for their child(ren) to be stuck in a long, drawn-out court scene, and possibly in court custody, while their living situation is being figured out. Personally, I want to designate those guardians myself, and make sure my baby will be with someone who will love and cherish him just as his own parents would.

Okay, enough of the morose and depressing conversation. But, please: go write your will.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Judge not...

Everyone I've spoken to who has actually been to Burning Man gets a sort of dreamy, starry-eyed look on their faces as they reminisce about the sharing, kindness, generosity, friendliness, and genuine caring that they found there. They tell stories about the random group of strangers who gave them dinner one night, and the guy from a nearby camp who would bring over coffee in the morning, just because he thought they needed some... they talk about the deep friendships they've built from meeting people there, and they speak with a sort of awe about how quickly and deeply you can build connections there.

In a way, I see this as a way to gauge people, almost the same way I used to see the way people reacted to my shaved head or tattoos. They typically either jump right into the judgment chair and have a negative and moralistic reaction, or they sit back and take it all in, say something along the lines of "wow, seems like something you're really interested in; cool" and then let it be. Rarely, someone will be positive and supportive right away, and that's when I feel the most accepted. But you know what? I've realized I don't really need their acceptance; the people I really care about love me no matter how weird or out there my interests lie, because they know that it doesn't change who I am or how I care about other people. So the judgers can all just get together and point out everyone else's differences and pontificate about how wrong they all are; go ahead, enjoy yourselves. I'll be out living my life and enjoying *that* instead!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Ethan finally cut one of his top teeth yesterday. And by finally, I mean those upper gums have been swollen, red, and painful looking since early June... and just now are deciding to make an appearance! I'm so glad, too, because he has just been getting more and more miserable lately. For the past couple of weeks, he started waking up in the middle of the night again to take a full bottle and then head back to sleep. During the days, he would fuss and kind of whimper every so often, and was constantly rubbing at his mouth and gums. The last day or two before his tooth finally cut through his gums, we noticed that he was pushing his two lower teeth up and rubbing them across his upper gums, trying to help those top teeth come out. And man, let me tell ya, those bottom teeth are sharp, so he must have been pretty desperate to use them as cutting tools. Ouch!

He and I went to the Library today to pick up some books together, and see if they had any Baby Einstein DVDs. Well, turns out those are popular, and every single Baby Einstein movie is not only checked out, but reserved for the next person in line already. So we got a Veggie Tales DVD instead-- "Silly Songs with Larry"-- and he loves it. That's good news, because I love it too! I'm actually going to just have to buy the whole series, because I really enjoy all of the Veggie Tales episodes; they have great music, fun characters, and positive messages in every show. And the Silly Songs are absolutely hilarious. I still remember the words to my favorites from watching them with my niece almost ten years ago, which is either a testament to the songwriters' genius or an example of my own silly nature. Probably both.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Preconceived Ideas...

... what is it they say about "assumptions" making asses out of people? It's funny... people seem to have very specific ideas about what Burning Man is and why we are going, but in reality 100% of those people have never been to it. Where are they getting their ideas about what Burning Man is all about? I sincerely doubt any of them has even taken the time to go to the website and check it out from the original source. No, just like many of today's journalists, there is no time to be wasted looking for "facts" or "data" or trying to verify whether something you read is gospel or not. It's just so much easier to listen to rumors, gossip, or hearsay, and then make up your mind without having to do any actual research or analysis. Many of the people who have discovered that we are attending Burning Man this year have had fairly negative reactions, and seem to think that we are heading into a sort of modern Sodom and Gomorrah situation here. They think that we are going in order to discard our values and dissolve the standards that we live by in our normal, day-to-day lives, so that we can be completely free of any boundaries that morality places upon us. Hmm... so far, sounds good!

Actually, I was being slightly facetious there. I personally see this as an experience that will help me to remember the free, wild, innocent child-like me that's living inside this mommy-wife-provider who has to be responsible and worry about bills and wear certain clothes and plan out recipes, and just generally live the roles I've chosen. I want just one week where I can be Me, the me with a capital M, the individual, the me who exists in a more hidden place and who needs to breathe every so often. I want to dress up and wear costumes and act silly, to take risks and introduce myself to strangers and watch fire dancers and soak up the positive energy of thousands of free spirits and open souls. And if that sounds too hippie for someone else, so be it. I'm not making them go!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Furr Play

FurrPlay is one of the vendors we saw at the Burning Man Prepare for the Playa event on Saturday. They were awesome! She had such a huge variety of furs, all different colors and designs and items, from wrist cuffs to hats to tops and coats. It was so cool, and the owner and creator Gwen was such a sweet lady, and very friendly. Along with several other vendors, she also volunteers as a Greeter at the gates to Burning Man, so I'm sure we'll see her again when we go. :)

Back to the costume extravaganza-- I was coveting so much stuff at the Grotto, it was ridiculous. I felt like I was one of those cartoon creatures, walking around with my jaw dropped and my tongue lolling out, just drooling over all of the amazing, beautiful, funky creations all around us. It was a good thing I didn't have any money or else it all would've been spent in moments. There were so many things to look at that I hardly knew where to turn! You can see the vendors' individual websites with their items here. Most of these are a bit out of my price range, but they are actually priced very well for hand-made, often one-of-a-kind artistic creations. At least we know they weren't made with slave labor from another country, I guess.