Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Toast

Warm sun on my face. A lazy breeze shuffles through the magnolia leaves, chilly reminder that even the lowcountry has winter. I watch a cat slink under the camellias, molten, merging into the shadows. Twittering birds erupt in a cloud of scolding. The cat stalks off, disgusted.

Laughter swells as someone backs out the door with arms laden. The storm door slams shut behind them, cutting off the cheerful din. Conversation drifts toward me on the breeze as some of the family stroll back from the nearby pond, where they'd been admiring the resident 'gator. Their voices mingle with the mouth-watering sounds and aromas of frying turkey. Children fly past on bikes and scooters. Somewhere, a dog barks. I stretch my legs out in the grass before me. Another car pulls up, bearing friends and family. The magnolia whispers overhead.

A child bumps my arm as I pour, spilling rich red wine over the rim. Sunlight shimmers in beads of deepest ruby clinging, sliding, as I quietly lift my glass in homage to this day. Thanksgiving, indeed.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Babyman's First Haircut

Now that Billy has heroically figured out a way to unload pictures from my camera (since I still don't have the USB cable), I have a few illustrated blog posts in the wings. One momentous event was Babyman's first haircut!

He was less than thrilled with the experience.

He cried through most of the haircut.

"Seriously? Why do you guys do these things to me?"

He was beginning to get used to the experience, and Scooby Doo on the TV was fairly interesting. I love this picture.

All done! (Just needed a little fluffing up.) Sigh. At least he still has his curls!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I know your blog reader is probably awash in gratitude right now, but I can't let this day slide by without acknowledgment. Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., and regardless of the holiday's origins it is one of my favorite days of the year. Some argue that it's counter-productive to set aside one day for giving thanks, when gratitude is something we should all practice on a daily basis. While I understand that point, I don't think Thanksgiving (the holiday) precludes thanksgiving (as a daily practice). Thanksgiving is a reminder and an opportunity. (Not to mention a delicious tradition!)

Before we head to my sister-in-law's, I wanted a moment of reflection. My life is so full of blessings. Health, family, friends, food and shelter. . . so many things that fill me with wonder. I won't list them all here- some of my (walking, talking) blessings are very impatient for me to get moving. ;) I will end simply with the best possible prayer, no matter the creed or faith- the closest phrase I can think of to express this sense of fullness, wonder and gratitude:

Thank you.
Thank you.
From the depths of my being, thank you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Over-Parenting: a Time Magazine Article

All I have to offer tonight is this EXCELLENT article from the latest edition of Time magazine. Check it out.

Can These Parents Be Saved? - The Case Against Over-Parenting

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Two Years

From this:

to, very shortly thereafter, this:

Then it's just two years. . . two short years, and we have this rascal:

We love you, sweet Babyman!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Superfast Dinner Solutions

Busy, busy lately- which is why I am offering today a handful of super fast, super easy dinner ideas. These aren't recipes, and I offer no guarantees as far as nutrition goes. They are simply meals that I turn to when I have no time or few ingredients, and three hungry boys. They are kid-approved, at least in this house. What quick meal solutions do you regularly turn to in your kitchen?

"Noodles with Green Sauce"
(at least, that's what the kids call it)

Boil some of whatever pasta you have on hand. Meanwhile, follow the instructions to microwave a package of frozen creamed spinach. Drain pasta, and toss thoroughly with hot creamed spinach. Serve alone, or with whatever protein you can whip up quick. My kids prefer (cringe) bacon. But I prefer boneless skinless chicken, baked up quick, diced and tossed in with the noodles.

Crackers, Cheese and a Chat

We love this one. Grab a cutting board, a block of cheese, a box of crackers, an apple or two and any number of other delights: grapes or other fruit, sausage, baby carrots, a boiled egg, french bread and olive oil for dipping, hummus. . . you get the idea. (Don't forget a glass of wine for Mommy!) Slice, share, much and have a nice relaxed conversational meal.

Smoothies and Popcorn

Sorry. It's a treat, OK? Throw some popcorn in the microwave or popper. Meanwhile, blend up bananas, pineapple, fresh spinach, and frozen fruit such as strawberries or peaches, with vanilla yogurt, juice and a little protein powder. Taste often and adjust ingredients until you have something yummy. This "meal" goes very well with a movie.

Black Beans and Rice

This is the "I'm in a hurry" version. Dump some rice in the cooker or pot, and get it started. Meanwhile warm up a can of Goya brand black bean soup. Combine, mix thoroughly, and serve hot. Yumm. I like to serve with salad, steamed broccoli or asparagus, but that's just me trying to get the green veggies in. :)

Mac & Cheese & Peas

Nothing new here! Follow cooking instructions for whatever brand of boxed macaroni & cheese your kids favor. I prefer the organic stuff. Meanwhile, follow instructions to microwave some frozen green peas. Drain peas, and toss with finished macaroni and cheese. Serve. For protein, I either bake some boneless skinless chicken, or brown some ground beef or bison and toss it in. But I'm not averse to serving this one as is. Babyman tears it up.

Creamy Garlic Baked Chicken

This takes a little longer if you're using the frozen chicken, but needs no prep and just a couple ingredients. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Place frozen boneless skinless chicken in a single layer in the baking dish. Spread one undiluted can of cream of chicken soup over the chicken. Sprinkle on a little fresh ground black pepper, if desired. Peel a few garlic cloves, halve or quarter them, and distribute over top of chicken. Bake until done, but not dry- I usually bake for 40 to 45 minutes from frozen. Serve hot with rice or noodles and a veggie or two. Easy peasy.

Hope these help! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009