Oct 28, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Fun (in Which Cliches Abound)

 I got the kiddos in coordinating outfits (yuppie mom alert!), and braved the pumpkin patch at Oakes Farm Friday afternoon with some friends.  It was so much fun- I have to admit I was secretly hoping it would rain, being rather apprehensive about the prospect of handling both kids in that kind of situation on my own.  They were great, even though it was nap time.  I was thrilled.

Deeds was driving the big kids crazy- he had to be right in the middle of the action.
Total lack of cooperation for my photo op in the coordinating monogrammed shirts.  Thanks a lot, kids.

Oct 22, 2014

Country Ham Pate and Other Burning Questions

Ask and ye shall receive!

Taste of the South magazine calls this Deviled Ham.  That conjures mental images of Hawaii's favorite treat, good old SPAM.  That's what I get for my ever-expanding collection of 50's and 60's cookbooks- SPAM images.

I followed the recipe pretty much exactly.  It's delicious.  Especially with a diet coke and some triscuits. I'm wiping the crumbs off my keyboard as I speak.

We are all enjoying these crisp autumn afternoons so much.  Too bad that the dread Daylight Savings time is lurking just around the corner.  I'm scared of the dark when it arrives at five PM.

Here is the link to the Ebay store where I found my kilim runners.  I am pleased!

My soup bowls are from an amazing potter named Janet Harper (otherwise known as my mama! Ha! ). They are my favorite! Kate, feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you would like to see more of her work.  She is way behind the times (Mama!), and does not have a website.

Okay, I think that about covers it.

Oct 21, 2014

Clarification, Weekend Review, and a Fall Make-ahead Menu

Firstly, I realized I need to clarify something re: the poop incident.  DH was not being malicious or even naughty when she smeared fecal matter on my face.  Shudder.  She was just trying to wake me up and show me that she had an incident.  I think the giggles were a nervous reaction to my horrified face.

We had people over for a casual supper and game watching Saturday for the Tennessee/Ole Miss game.  

 Herbed salami, fig spread, cornichons, French mustard, pickled okra, and homemade country ham pate. Along with crostini, crackers and cheese.  Yum.

Now, this menu is amazing, because it's all do-ahead.  I made everything Friday night, and was completely relaxed when people arrived- even with Dell Harper running around the "grown-up party".

 First up- Kale and Collards Salad from Southern Living last year.
 This salad got raves!  I left out the final bit of lemon juice that the recipe calls for, because I think it's too tart.  Also, I left out the radicchio because Kroger didn't have any.  The beauty of this salad is the ability to make a salad in advance.  And- you can eat the leftovers (which are pictured here- I forgot to take pictures at the party).

 Next up- Ina Garten's Beef Bourguignon:

Classic, upscale comfort food?  Of course a Barefoot Contessa recipe will hit the spot.  Make it the night before.  Simmer all day long.  Your house will smell divine.
 Pictured here are leftovers.  They were delicious as well.

I served the beef bourguignon over creamy stone ground grits (recipe here- cook for 15 minutes, not 75).  To eliminate any extra work, just serve both directly from the stove.  I had two big Dutch ovens full of grits and beef stew, and our guests served themselves.    I usually appreciate the function of my well-used Le Creuset dutch ovens, but parties are a lovely time to show off their good looks as well.

I doubled the beef recipe, and had a couple servings left over.  Judging by the bowls in the dishwasher, about 15 people ate supper.  It was a lovely, cozy and casual dinner- perfect for football and fall.  If only the game had been so satisfying. . .at least Georgia won.

 I got rugs for my kitchen!  Off Ebay.  I love them!  Now just need to get rug pads.

Leigh brought over donuts, and included a special one with sprinkles and chocolate icing.  She got to have it the next morning in return for staying in her bed during the grown-up party.

Okay, running out the door- take kiddos to school, volunteer garden cleanup, birthday lunch for friend, work, and take dinner to a friend.   This post is rife with typos I am sure, but I am going to post it regardless. Apologies!!

Oct 15, 2014

A S----y, S----y, S----y Day.

Dell Harper has been having trouble sleeping lately.  She has been having a recurring nightmare that there is a hole in her bed.  I have explained to her ad nauseum that there is no actual hole in her bed, but rationality is not a two year old's strong suit. Anyway, apparently the only solution is a cozy spot tucked in my bed.  I'm not down with this plan, especially since she sleeps diagonally and takes up twice as much space as I do (when I told her there wasn't any room for her in my bed, she happily pronounced Daddy can just scoot over, Mama1".

Anywhoo, last night after a bad dream, I got in bed with her to calm her down, and promptly fell asleep myself.  In a semi-conscious state, I became aware of a decidedly unpleasant odor, but I soldiered on, determined to sleep.

Then something was placed on my mouth.  Smeared on my lips by a small little hand.

My eyes flew open to see the giggling culprit.

She smeared poop on my lips.


On my mouth.

I immediately flipped on the light, rubbed off my mouth with the sleeve of my pajamas, and hauled the BM manufacturer into the bathtub.  I scrubbed my hands and face over and over while rinsing her off.

I got her clean, in new pajamas, and checked her surroundings for errant fecal matter.  Apparently I was the only victim.

Then I checked the clock.  2:38.

You know it's going to be bad day when you have been smeared with shit and it's not even three a.m.

Oct 13, 2014

Weekend Roundup

So, guess what we did this weekend?  Ha, if you guessed went to birthday parties, you would be correct!

Our first party Friday evening was very special- my niece Charlotte's very first birthday!

Trying to get all the cousins to quit playing and look was impossible.

Maybe I could somehow photoshop all three pics together.

Look how delicately she approached her cake- such ladylike manners! 

 She got a little coaching from her parents.  The party was spectacular, and all the guests had a lovely time despite the rain.  Unfortunately, my two turned into pumpkins before the party was over, and we had to dash home to make bedtimes.  Deeds is not a night owl.  Next time, I am getting a babysitter, or sending Morgan home with the children so I can enjoy some adult beverages with all of the other people.  Children can be very difficult on my ability to have an enjoyable conversation.  Hmmph.

 Saturday we ventured out to an event where DH got her face painted.  She is obsessed with face-painting/makeup application.  She becomes a statue.  If only she would be so still for pig-tail preparation.

 Deeds got plopped in the lap of a friend from church who happened to be there.  He was pleased about that, although rather concerned about his "pink skeery monster" of a sister.

 Said monster declared that Baby Deeds needed his face painted as well.  His was a little less elaborate, but no less darling- a little puppy dog. Please note that Morgan and I split the difference- one in orange, one in red (that had black smocked dogs across the chest, squee).

Morgan headed off to the football game and I was left with this-

 She decided to strip down and paint the rest of her body to match her face.  Middle of the day bath time!

 Things got pretty dicey post-Deeds nap, and DH rest on the couch.  Accidents tracked all over the house (potty-training is a bitch).  During a break in the non-stop rain, I loaded up the double stroller and took the kids for a mall walk.  This was sheer insanity on my part.  I could barely navigate the stroller it was so crowded.  When we passed the mall playground, DH accepted it calmly without protest when I told her it was too crowded and they weren't allowing more children in.  Anyway, after ten thousand rides on the glass elevator at Belk, Chick-fil-a at the food court, and purchase of a Frozen t-shirt, we headed back home.

After getting everyone to bed (we are back to the toddler bedtime battle, more on that later), I ran from the house screaming.

Not really.

Maybe a little.  Anyway,  I have been in clothes shopping lockdown in the interest of all the stuff needed for the house and you know, paying our mortgage.  However, while browsing TJ Maxx for some kid stuff, I happened upon these Rag and Bone skinny jeans.

Morgan scoffed at me when I justified my bargain purchase by proclaiming my lack of pants/fall or winter clothing.  He backed down a bit when I reminded him that I have been pregnant 2 out of the last 3 fall or winters, and have no clothes that fit.  He did ask where my fall/winter clothes from 5 years ago are, and why I can't wear those?  Ha! Men just do not understand the concept of changing style.
 Just had to show y'all the mountain and burning bush we made for my Sunday school class- "Moses" took off his shoes and scaled it.  Pretty cute!

 After Sunday afternoon naps for all (the best moment of the week), Morgan got to take DH to a bowling party!  Frankly, I was rather jealous, but his bowling skills exceed my nonexistent ones, so he drew party duty while I had Deeds.  A bowling alley is no place for a crawling baby.  The now defunct bowling alley closest to our high school used to sell us pitchers of beer when we were in high school.  I tremble to think of the party gravy covering that floor.

Did you make it through to the end?  In case there was some skimming, here's the gist- kids' birthday parties, family time, wash, rinse, repeat.  I do get to have some adult time and see Gone Girl tonight with a girlfriend!  Soooooooooooo excited.  Wonder if I got a babysitter if I could re-read the book before our viewing tonight.  Hmmmm.

Oct 10, 2014

Five on Friday- Kid's Favorite Books

I had a major discussion on favorite children's books the other night with some friends (from chatting about how late we stayed out the night before to favorite toddler tomes- oh, how my life has changed!). I thought I would share some of my kiddos' favorites today!

1.  Miss Suzy:
This is a thoroughly charming tale of a little gray squirrel who lives in a cozy little house at the top of a tree.  She is forced to relocate to an abandoned dollhouse, but eventually makes her way back to her peaceful tree.  I don't want to spoil it for you, but it's just the best!  It was one of Morgan's favorites from his childhood and he got it for Dell Harper.  Everyone loves this story, as well as the adorable illustrations.

2.  Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
One of my favorite books to read as a child, I was thrilled to find a shortened version of the Mrs. Piggle Wiggles tales at the used bookstore the other day- The Won't Take a Bath Cure, in which the parents plant radish seeds in the layer of dirt covering their daughter's skin when she refuses to take a bath.  Disgusting in the most delicious way!

 Just ordered the Won't Pick Up Toys Cure- we need to reinforce that message around here (maybe Morgan will read it as well?  Ha!).

3.  Roadwork

Dell Harper (and subsequently, I) can recite this.  Children love it, and I like that it's short and relatively easy to read.  Isn't that awful?  Y'all know by the end of the bedtime routine, you just want to zone out. We need some shorter ones for those nights when your toddler demands "Three books! Eight books! No, a LOT books!!".  Anyway, Roadwork never gets old, even when we read it three weeks in a row.

4.  My No No No Day
This is one of our Dolly Parton Imagination Library books, and is a controversial topic amongst my friends.  Kids adore it, but some parents feel it encourages tantrums.  Check out the Amazon reviews. Ha, my child does not need a book to teach her how to throw a tantrum- she is quite adept on her own!  I think the book is hilarious.  We all have those days.  I think it's actually helped DH- when she is having a hard time, we talk about how it's a "no no no day" and it helps her take a step back and calm down.

5.  Peek-a Who? and NoisyFarm
Now for Deeds' picks.  That little snuggle-bunny reaches for his books as soon as he finishes his evening feed.  He just giggles and grins the whole time.  It's the cutest thing.
He likes the battered hand-me-down copy of Peek-a Who.
Great illustrations, and fun to read to the baby.  There's lots of little tickling involved in our rendition.

His very favorite-
Dell Harper loved this one as well.  It's your basic "duck says quack", but something about the illustrations and flaps just really appeals to babies.  Deeds LOVES it.  He smiles the minute I pick it up, and giggles the entire way through.  Just adorable.

I'm linking up with the Five on Friday ladies- glad everyone is back!