Sensible parents or early onset scrooges

This is our THIRD holiday season since we moved to Texas. For the first two, we alternated holidays between our parents but THIS YEAR, we are here for BOTH Thanksgiving and Christmas. What will we do with ourselves?

Well. We got ourselves invited to a friend’s house!

Then, over the weekend, OJ got hand, foot and mouth and we quickly disinvited ourselves from said friend’s house. Regroup.

After we left the pediatrician on Monday morning with that fantastic diagnosis, we picked up ice cream (best for a sore throat) and a turkey breast (for our quarantined celebration). At that point, I didn’t know what else we would do, but there will be fried turkey by gosh by golly.

As we talked about it further, we decided it was impractical to believe that between the two kids, we would have time for cooking a real feast (and for just two people, could it possibly be worth the effort?). So yesterday Little Miss and I turned up at Central Market as soon as it opened (no alarm clock needed when she sleeps in your room) to pick up prepared side dishes.

  • Herbed potato gratin with roasted garlic and manchego
  • Duo of Jalapeño pecan dressing and Italian sausage bread stuffing
  • Roasted beets with pistachios and orange glaze

Then as we were planning fry time and FaceTime appointments, we decided THE BEST Thanksgiving would be during NAP TIME. Talk about things for which to be THANKFUL!

A quiet, hot meal with your spouse in the comfort of your own home=priceless.

Fast forward to today, Turkey Day.

We spent the morning our for a nice walk, including a trip to the playground (note: NO Turkey Trotting). It was BRISK and CHILLY (44 degrees) when we left the house, but by the end it had really heated up (like 65 degrees).

When we got home, it was so beautiful that we all hung out, watched football and fried turkey. OUTSIDE. I remember Becky telling us that Texans LOVE to do Thanksgiving outside. What a perk and what luck to finally be here for this holiday. So Texans we shall be! (at Thanksgiving).

T prepared the turkey by injecting it with cajun butter and rubbing it all over with cajun spices, then dropped it in our Bayou Classic turkey fryer / crawfish boil / beer homebrew pot.

Put the kids down for naps, carved the turkey, and reheated the sides.

We grabbed our picnic, pinot noir and sunglasses, and headed back outside to sit on the deck for our al fresco feast.

Selfishly, it was WONDERFUL.

Pure, adult, BLISS.

You are thinking: THEY. ARE. TERRIBLE. PARENTS.

IN DEFENSE: We love our kids. But let’s get real. OJ would not eat any of the food and Little Miss would just demand to be held. And for a holiday that is ALL ABOUT THE MEAL, I say we made the most of it.

If there is a year to get away with having Thanksgiving without our kids, THIS is the year. Without guests or plans, we are the captains of this holiday ship, but unlikely to have such freedom again anytime soon. Best enjoy it!

And enjoy we did. In the warm sunshine on a Thursday afternoon. #WINNING

Life at the Hall

Can’t afford to fix everything, at this rate

Lord. My child would not pray before dinner tonight because he wanted “THE CARDS!”.

Let me go back.

I’ve been on a, “if you can’t fix it, buy something” tear the last few months, especially with regard to OJ’s eating and dining habits here at Tottering Hall.

For example, I went on a treasure hunt visiting at least four different Targets here looking for specific “Big Kid” plates, cups, bowls and utensils in dark blue and lime green to replace our multi-colored set from IKEA. It was like a GAME to find just the ones I wanted. So we have all new serveware for our THREE year old. For the record, I also got a bunch of glasses (that I love!) which have been discontinued to make room for the new home decor brands at Target. #WINNING

But at least I was on a quest in that case–finding and buying something (anything!) on Amazon is just too easy. About five minutes after reading about these “sandwich cutters” called FunBites on an occupational therapist’s blog (you may have seen these on Shark Tank), click click boom I added to my cart and purchased. Which brings me to the cards. In an effort to make a more enjoyable dining experience for EVERYONE, and hopefully encourage a happier and “more successful” eating experience, I was googling best practices for teaching table manners to a preschooler. Which sounds INSANE. However, aside from napkin this, elbows that, what stood out to me was “participating in polite conversation”. Until that point, it looked the same each night: OJ won’t talk about school when we ask, T wants/needs to talk about work trials and travails, then OJ would do something to get attention because he’s not included in a work conversation, and then we would get to the part where we cajole him to eat what’s on his plate and he refuses, pouts, gets angry. Awesome.

In an effort to steer the conversation towards something engaging to everyone at the table, click click boom KIDS TABLE TOPICS ON THE GO.

Overheard at our dining room table tonight…

Q: If you could design your own swimming pool what would it look like?


T: A circle, that goes around the house, like a MOAT. Heated! Saltwater. With ALLIGATORS! 

Hysterical laughing ensues.

There are only 40 cards in the deck so we may be having the same conversation time and again, but at least it’s polite.

Life at the Hall

Planetary (or more like parental) power struggles?

Procrastinating throwing a full-blown kids birthday party for another year: level unlocked. Nevertheless, we still celebrated his birthday and, unintentionally, the day developed a theme.


We started the day bright and early as the first customers at Twin Sisters for special breakfast out as a family.

PUMPKINSAt a manufactured pumpkin patch, benefiting children’s ministry at “THE U” in 90 degrees. You can tell he has developed an aversion to the camera slash cooperating with Mom in his older age.

I don’t know when this place opened but it’s new and imported from Birmingham, Alabama. It was pretty delicious. But OJ liked my popsicle better than his own so we switched (without my consent).

What day in the life of OJ would be complete without some airplane tailgating!? Besides, the mayor hasn’t yet appointed me to the here airport long-range planning panel yet, so we couldn’t host his birthday party there (it’s a THING!). Maybe next year.

And the next day at school—prayers.

Note to Mom: shower for birthday chapel.

It’s ironic the theme “P” unfolded, not because his birthday was an episode of Sesame Street (no comment) but because someone has become fascinated with pee and poop (and boogers, but that doesn’t fit the theme) and touching (and sometimes smearing) ALL OF THEM. Three. Years. Old. Awesome. Roll eyes. It’s a good time for me to avoid Facebook. And it’s too bad I can’t avoid the Weinstein story because that is the only thing that makes me more crazy right about now. Vomit.

Our neighbor and her son have the SAME birthday. She said, when you have a kid that’s when you stop having your own birthday. I’d suggest and most moms probably feel the same way, that you may stop having your own birthday, but your child’s birthday is like your own day too.

And yet I feel my baby boy and I are growing apart. He is growing up and asserting himself and seems to have boundless energy when it comes to not listening, despite working really hard to drop his nap. Rules? He rebels. So it’s more than appropriate that the astrological reading for his birthday is all about the power struggle. And like most parenting advice, the answer lies within, young Jedi…

The sun, Mercury and Pluto square off in an epic power struggle. The most difficult opponent in the skirmish for control is the opponent within. Yet we can usually pin the blame on those difficult people in our lives who embody the conflict so well. We even fool ourselves into believing they are the real problem. Alas, the answers still lie within.

All that said—for all the crazy, battle and fight that comes with being three, he CAN be a really sweet big brother.

SO THE BEATS GOES ON with the birthday behind us. We are busy with doctors and Halloween and preschool party fundraising (wish I was joking!) and planning a REAL NON-PARTY for my birthday, but next up, it’s a girls weekend—just mom and Little Miss. What will we do!? We have a few plans but here’s what I’ve been seriously considering… A Piercing Question.

side note: I am working my way out from multiple technical difficulties.–the new iOS 11 has some really cool features like document scan and Live Photo editor directly in “Photos”, but it also creates some errors. I’ve been locked out of my WordPress app for the last week! Gah. Also, our home laptop is officially fried so we are transitioning to our next thing, which might just be the ipad Pro but like I said, we are still in transition. Nevertheless, I’m back for more cash.


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