Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween!

Well, we stayed up late and really pulled out all the stops with Fletcher's robot costume.  It has lights, it has buttons, it has a hat, and it even has a lever, at his request.  He wanted a lever in the back that turns him on and off.  Don't I wish!  And Rowan may have a complete costume by trick or treating, too, if I can get all the components for Dorothy from Wizard of Oz together.  Hopefully I can get the kids to cooperate for pictures later, too. 

We also had lots of fun with their glow-in-the-dark pajamas.  These are a little blurry, but you get the picture. 
 The big skeleton is Fletcher.  The little one is Rowan.  Cool, huh? 
It was hard to get Rowan to be still enough for these pictures, but Fletcher was somewhat cooperative.  And here Fletcher is just an hour after dancing around in the dark.
That's his blankie on his head, looking like a turban.  He likes blankie up by his face for some reason.  I keep thinking he looks like Achmed the Dead Terrorist in this picture with the turban and the skeleton pajamas.  I know, mom of the year right over here.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, google it. 

We've all been sampling some of that candy a little early.  Oh the sugar highs that will happen tonight!!

And in between spray painting cardboard and making yarn braids yesterday, I finished my fall bird painting that I've been working on for the past month.  The goal is to make one for each season.  Maybe I'll actually get to that winter one before winter actually gets here. 

I made Fletcher help me pick up any pretty fall leaves we came across.  And then I pressed them in a book so they would go on somewhat smoothly.  They were still pretty bumpy and hard to work with.  I probably should have actually painted the leaves instead of using the real thing.  But I like my little Raven.  And it does look like Fall, right?

*yesterday was my Dad's birthday!  happy happy birthday, Dad!  love you, xoxo*

Friday, October 28, 2011

why, universe? why?

I do think the universe is conspiring against me.  I do.  No, I'm not a crazy conspiracy theorist, so hear me out.  Ok, let me start at the beginning.  I like wine.  It's good.  And it uh, lubricates those moments when kids are screaming and you are trying to get dinner on the table.  Do I drink too much?  No.  I don't get drunk.  I just get, um, more relaxed with a glass of wine or two.  Ok, I just KNOW that you are out there reading this and either nodding your head and saying, yep, yep, yep OR you are thinking, poor girl's an alcoholic and trying to deny it.  Anyway.  I'm not, ok? 

But the universe doesn't want me drinking wine anymore.  You already know this story if you are a facebook friend of mine.  The other day I opened the garage refrigerator and 4 bottles of wine crashed and shattered onto the garage floor.  It was bad.  Really bad.  Not only did I destroy the wine, but then I had a HUGE mess to clean up.  What a pain.

A friend suggested a kind of boxed wine that she liked, and so it seemed like a safe backup to the bottled kind that I keep on hand.  So I went to the store, with my children, of course.  I found the the boxed wine and got a couple bottles of my usual favorites.  As we were in the wine aisles, Fletcher asked me what I was putting in the cart.  So I told him.  Wine.  And for some reason he started chanting "wino, wino, wino, wino..."  I wish I were kidding.  Rowan decided to chime in since she loves to sing along to any song.  So both my kids were loudly mocking me in the wine aisle of Publix.  It was pretty humiliating.  Not humiliating enough to actually put the wine back, but you know.  Embarrassing. 

I have no idea where who when why Fletcher learned to say that.  My kids were getting those looks that just read, "Oh, you poor children with your alcoholic mother."  I wanted to tell them, "You don't KNOW!  I'm the poor one!  I'm alone all day with these children, okay?  And I'm not a wino, thankyouverymuch!!!  Don't listen to him, he's three!"  But I just stood up straight, and payed for my wine.  And reminded myself to send Brian to the store the next time we needed wine.

I wish that were the end, but no.  Last night I went to make dinner and disaster had struck.  The "safe" box of wine had somehow leaked all over into the vegetable drawer.  I had an empty box of wine, and super marinated vegetables.  Pretty sure I'd be a bad mom if I served my kids THAT salad, right? 

So.  Why universe?  I'm a pretty light drinker.  I at most have 2 glasses of wine when I drink, and it's not even every night!  So why?  WHY?

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I haven't done a You Capture in forever and a day.  Chalk it up to moving, and the lady behind You Capture having a new baby!  Fun new changes in life everywhere. 

This week's theme is cute.  I have lots of that around here (in this mama's humble opinion). 

We've got this cute girl.
And this girl with her cute papa!
And this cute boy, too.

What can I say?  We are blessed with an abundance of cuteness around here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

artichoke & arugula crescent ring

Hi, my name is Ruthie, and I just can't leave well enough alone.  Sometimes this is bad, and sometimes it is really really good.  Luckily, I don't share the times that it goes badly on my blog.  You're welcome.

I love spinach artichoke dip.  Who doesn't?  But you know.  I can't leave well enough alone.  So I had an idea.  Some might call it a stroke of genius.  I sure did after I tasted it!  I have an arugula obsession.  It is tangy and zesty and is so great in salads and in sandwiches.  I may start a fan club.  So you will need:

1 can artichoke hearts
1 package cream cheese
2 cups fresh baby arugula (or you can use fresh spinach, if you don't like change)
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 T gorgonzola cheese
1 roll crescent rolls
fresh pepper
cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven according to crescent roll package.  Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for about 20 seconds.  Saute your onion until browned. 
While the onion is browning, drain your can of artichokes. 
Once the onions are done browning, add your 2 cups of arugula. 
Turn off the heat and stir the arugula into the onions.
Leave it be for a minute while you crumble your gorgonzola.  Or maybe you thought ahead and bought crumbled gorgonzola.  Good for you! 
Also chop up those drained artichokes.
Add the artichokes, gorgonzola, and parmesan to your soften cream cheese.
Pour on the onions and arugula.
Grind a little pepper over it and add a couple pinches of cayenne.  Mix it all up really well.
Take a taste to confirm your suspicion that it already tastes delicious.  And then set aside.  Break open the can of crescent rolls and arrange the triangles into a star shape.  Like so:
I overlapped them some and pressed them together so the mixture wouldn't leak out the bottom.  Then add your arugula/artichoke mixture in a ring around the open hole in the center.
Fold the points to the middle, pressing them together and pinching the edges where the triangles meet.  It doesn't have to be perfectly sealed.
And because cheese is good, I sprinkled more parmesan over the top.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious smelling.
Serve it up! 

There are a lot of possibilities with this!  You don't have to make a ring, you could make it more of a stromboli if you don't want to fuss.  I think it would be cute with some sun dried tomatoes on top to serve at Christmas- like a wreath.  We ate it for dinner, but it would be a good appetizer for a party, too.  Brian and the littles were fans.  It was all eaten in one night. 

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

parks and recreation

We are close to a lot of parks here, and really pretty university campus, so we took full advantage this past weekend.  We got out and explored.  The weather was nice, the leaves are looking pretty, and the littles were cooperative.  Everything came together! 
On Saturday we started at Clemson University.  They have a really pretty wildlife habitat.
Yes, that does say Do Not Feed Alligators.  That is weird to us Northerners.  Alligators don't hang out in our lakes up North. 
We took a little walk along the lake, and then went and fed ourselves and took naps in preparation for the fall festival that night.

We got to the festival just as the sun was setting, all ready to take a hay ride, walk the corn maze, and pet some farm animals.
The guy in the Army uniform entertained us on the tractor ride with animal noises.
He is not in the Army.  Some sort of militia group.  Welcome to the South!

First stop, the barn to look at the animals.  Rowan was enthralled with the pygmy goats.  They are pretty cute.
We mosied on over to the corn maze after that.  Where we lost Fletcher. 
A group of children came running through, laughing and playing, and Fletcher just ran after them.  I was behind Brian and thought he could see Fletcher ahead of him.  But I soon realized he was no longer in our line of sight.  I started getting that shrill mom voice and started yelling out "Fletcher, Fletcher where are you?  Fletcher, FLETCHER!!!!"  Panic set in.  I took Rowan and told Brian to run ahead and find him.  Brian, being totally unconcerned, mosied on to look for him.  He said afterwards that he could hear his voice the whole time.  That's fine.  But these mama's eyes have to see the littles to keep that panic at bay.  Turns out he was just heading on to the next event with the family full of children.  They didn't even notice the additional child.  And Fletcher was NOT happy when we told him that he had to stay with us.  Apparently he's ready to trade us in already.

After my heart started beating normally again, we had some more family fun!
How could she NOT be wanted with that smile?
And the biggest news of the weekend?  Rowan is FINALLY walking!!!  She's very pleased with herself, as you can see.  Fletcher continues to be unimpressed.  He keeps saying, "Look, I can walk too."  Like, no big deal, mom.  Everyone is doing it.  Let's stop the insane cheering for Rowan. 

And then after the sun set, we did what all responsible parents do with their toddlers at Halloween.  We took them on a walk in the haunted woods.  Yep, where teenage boys jump out at you with chain saws.  Yes, it was a gamble.  But they were both great!!  I usually pee my pants at these things, but I felt the need to control my urge to scream and run wildly away while I was holding my child.  Again, Fletcher was unimpressed.  I thought he'd be scared, but he was fine.

We took a look at the pumpkins before we left.  At this point, the littles were pretty tired.  Rowan just stood at the pumpkins staring of into space.
But then she perked up and started rolling over the pumpkins.
And then Brian tested my heart again by putting Fletcher up in this tree.  I played it cool, but I was secretly screaming on the inside.
We all went home and CRASHED.

The next evening, we went out to the State Park to feed the ducks and geese.
It's a beautiful, big park.  Only a ten minute drive, too! 
 We fed the geese and ducks.
 We looked cute.
 We flapped our wings like the ducks.
We fed the ducks and geese some more.
Did I mention we looked cute?

We had a great weekend, I actually handed the camera over to Brian once or twice, and we have new places to show visitors.  So who's coming to visit us next?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

let them be little

I haven't participated in a photo challenge in so long, but this is such a great theme, I couldn't wait to jump back in. 

I can't help but let these littles be little.  If they both want a cuddle in this mama's lap, then I am all for it.  They get so busy being toddlers, that it can be hard to get them to cuddle.  Thanks to Brian for actually taking this picture.  I DID do all the editing, though. 

If you'd like to see more pictures of "let them be little" head on over to i heart faces.

Friday, October 21, 2011

how we amuse ourselves

There's this lag time around here between dinner time and bedtime.  If I get dinner on the table in time (I'm about 60% successful) then we still have about an hour and a half before tuck in time for the littles.  So we amuse ourselves.  With our own children. 

We have impromtu dance parties and force the kiddos to like our music tastes.  It works.  Start early. 

We dress them up in funny outfits.
And make them strike a funny pose.
We offer them a pipe to smoke.  It's funny.  Only when there's actually no tobacco in it, of course.
Sometimes they offer it back.  Just to be nice.
We pretend like we're Captain Morgan.
And we stretch out bath time because they both love it so.
We try to have lots of fun.  We try to make some memories, and then we try to get them to bed after winding them up with so much fun.  We may not be the brightest, but we're pretty fun around here.