Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pumpkin Patch 2013

In our family, "fun" family outings go like this:

Thursday -
Me: We should go to [insert all manner of outings which should serve beer. including, but not limited to: museums, zoos, parks, gardens, pumpkin patch or pretty much anywhere with a bouncy house or requires copious amounts of hand sanitizer] this weekend!
Brandon: Yeah. Harper would love it.

Friday -
Me: ((checks weather & website for any excuse to default on said fun)) Ah oh. It's looking like good weather and, oh great, not prohibitively expensive, either.
Brandon: Yeah. Harper will love it.

Saturday Morning -
Henry: from crib: "Maaaaaahmaaaaaa!"
Me: Yesss... it's Saturday. Wait.. oh no. Fun day.
Brandon: ((silence all morning.. hates all the things.))
Harper: omggggg!

Whatever it is always ends up actually being OK. Sometimes, dare I say, fun.

So, with that, the Phillips Reluctantly Do Pumpkin Patch '13


Harper getting her jump on while I stifle the mental image of her flying off of that thing like a cannonball should she get 'popped' by someone who weighs more:



In our family, we always do things the easy way - like putting on shoes, for example:

 
Harper on the hayride:

 
This is what Harper does when I tell her to smile for a picture. Obviously, I'm waiting with bated breath for her official preschool portraits:
 

 
Henry doesn't fancy shenanigans. Shenanigan #1: Seated too far from the tractor. Not amused.
 
 
Blue Steel. 
 
 
The only other picture of him that wasn't a blur.
 
 
Then this, x 27 or so. Henry, meanwhile, not pictured and..not amused.
 
 
Finally, a typical family portrait.
 
 
 
 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Possibly Unpopular Opinion of the Week

I love words. In fact, I have a hard time reading novels because I get word envy.

word envy - n. unwarranted jealousy experienced by me when an author uses a stronger, more descriptive word than expected.

Also, I acknowledge that a well-developed vocabulary nearly extinguishes the need for... "swear words."

However, I believe with my whole heart that there is a time and a place - wherein there exists no substitute - to fervently drop the f-bomb.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

ironically 30.

I guess it's just like a stupid almost 30 year old to wax nostalgic about their "fleeting" youth instead of enjoying it, but. . .

 No one told me that at 30, I'd still feel like a kid:

Still making snap decisions with my heart and gut instead of experience. Shouldn't I know what to do, by now?

Still choosing sides, still lying awake, wondering if I chose correctly. Shouldn't I know who to trust, by now?

Still needing encouragement and reassurance when it looks like I'm doing o.k, anyway. Why can't I just do it 'my own self,' yet?

Still failing to stand up for myself, even when I know I'm right.  How haven't I learned to spit it out?

Still worried about how others judge me & how I judge others. Isn't there only One opinion that matters?
 
Still wondering what I'll be and what I'll do, even though that's now. Will I ever know an opportunity when I see it?

Still watching others hurt and hurting with them, knowing I can do little to affect it. Where is this thick skin of which people speak and shouldn't I have it, by now?

Still sticking my foot in my mouth and giving my opinion when it isn't wanted. Why hasn't my foot gotten smaller in 30 years?

Still feeling the sting of rejection and of others' words and actions, even though it's nothing new. Shouldn't I see that coming after all this time?

Still trying to grow up, while I watch two babies run and laugh and play together and learn and fall and get back up and ...grow up. 

Maybe being a 30 year old kid isn't so bad after all.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

she lives for the applause

 
 
I liberty the claws, the claws, the claws
I liberty the claws claws, liberty the claws claws
The way the chinchilla squeaks at me
I liberty the claws, the claws, the claws.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

to the republic, for which it stands.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I've never thought to teach Harper the Pledge of Allegiance. Honestly, my job felt done after she began confidently belting out the chorus of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.

The good news is, she's been in preschool for a couple of weeks, and I think they say it every day, because today, she taught it to me:

I pleasure to the flag
the united city and God
where the witches stand
God and liberty
and just for kids.




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

if your mass is huddled.

Give me your tired, fussy preschoolers,
hungry husbands yearning for the weekend,
the restless moms combing a disorganized refrigerator,
send these, the busy Southern families, to me.
I'll have them to dinner and bed by 7:15.

I feel oppressed by recipes. And confused (not by directions, but by my ability to follow it flawlessly and still, catastrophe at my hands). Basically, recipes stir up teenager emotions I shouldn't have to deal with just one month shy of turning 30. And yet. . .

This is one y'all need in your arsenal for sick kids, sad friends, unexpected guests and to combat the general malaise that blankets the South when temperatures dip lower than 50 degrees for more than thirty consecutive days.

Chicken and Pastry

Some do dumplings - Bisquick and milk. that's all - but today? Frozen Pastry. I promised 7:15, remember?  A true Southern woman would call this a bastardization of such a hallowed dish, but.. 7:15.

Ingredients:

Two boxes of prepared chicken stock.

One box of water, maybe two (as in, fill the empty box with water and pour it in)

5, 6, or 7 chicken bouillon cubes, depending on your blood pressure.

meat (white or white and dark) from one pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/2 white onion chopped finely.. undetectable-to-kids-finely.

1 or 2 chopped carrots

1 or 2 chopped stalks of celery

1/2 package of Annie's frozen pastry. (all Southern grocery stores carry this, or some brand of frozen pastry. Not puff pastry, for the love of Paula Deen. Plain pastry. Ask someone who works there and tell them why you need it. McLib's dehydrated pastry also works well. I can't even believe I'm saying this, but for those reading this above the Mason-Dixon Line, you can use egg noodles. But then it's chicken noodle soup. Still good, but not what we're doing here.

2 bay leaves (fairly unnecessary and not worth dragging toddlers to the grocery store if you don't have it)

1 big squeeze of honey, or two tablespoons if you don't buy that cute little bear. It adds depth. Who doesn't buy the bear?! A fancy adult who buys raw, local honey I am not.

Pepper to taste.. more salt if your blood pressure is medically controlled and/or don't care if your wedding rings fit the next day.

Directions:

1. Put on an apron and a serious face, like you're doing something difficult.

2. Pour stock and water in large pot you use for soup. Add water or more stock until you get the amount you want. You'll want leftovers, because like most soupy foods, it's better the next day.

3. Get it hot and start adding bouillon cubes. Taste it. Add more.

4. Add chicken, cream of chicken soup, bay leaves, honey and veggies. **Before you put the water in the pot, you can cook the veggies in the bottom of the pot with a scant bit of olive oil until translucent if you're in a bonafide jerk to get it on the table in 20 minutes.

5. After the veggies are fairly well-done and everything has been at a rolling boil long enough that they look more the sum than their individual parts, start adding the frozen pastry. Slide it in piece by piece. Slowly. So they won't stick together. Patience, grasshopper.

6. Depending on the kind you use, cook according to the package. Frozen, dehydrated or, sigh.., egg noodles will be different.

7. When the pastry is cooked and all slippery-like, taste everything again. Add more bouillon, or salt, or honey.

Serve with crusty bread and sweet tea. The huddled masses will love you..or at least be quiet for 5 minutes while they eat.

Monday, September 16, 2013

hold your horses.

At the onset of stress, one can generally find me holed up in the garage haphazardly stapling geometric fabric to ..something, burning myself with a glue gun, spray painting basically any inanimate object off-white or constructing shoddy window coverings.

As I've chronicled here a few times, these projects don't typically pan out, but for once, the combination of tacky gold acrylic paint, zero patience and stencils didn't make my head explode.

I snort laughed when I finished it, because.. horses!

Who doesn't need to see this every single day!?