Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fright Night

Halloween. A time to revel in the spooky and weird. A time to be scared. Honestly? I don't really like being scared. I wasn't always this way - in fact, there's a running joke in my family that I didn't really "get" horror movies. Tales of me watching Poltergeist at a ridiculously young age. Stories of my parents walking in on me watching Candyman and crying about the sweet love story it portrayed ("He didn't want to leave her - even in death because he LOVED her!")

I blame The Ring. Honestly, that movie was the changing point for me. I spent a good portion of the movie on the floor of the theater, my face buried in the chair, hysterically crying. I'm fairly certain I remember Thatmom on the floor with me. Ever since that time I have been decidedly anti-scary movie. Or to be more precise, anti-psychological thriller scary movies. I'm totally fine with werewolves and vampires - as long as they don't glitter in the sunlight.

But during the month of October I give in totally and completely and let Thatboy go hogwild with the scary movies. Given that we're both currently home all day that means I have been treated to some real doozies. In fact, Thatboy has a new favorite - Satan's Little Helper which is basically the story of a child who must be mentally handicapped since he spends the entire movie helping a sociopathic killer choose and mutilate victims because he thinks the guy is Satan.

Today I got a small reprieve in the form of some much needed rest as I took a nap while Thatboy watched both the baby and his Halloween movie of choice - The Descent.

Of course, when I got up, that left me with a much more scary prospect - What's For Dinner? I know, words that can chill the bones of anyone faced with such a task. I decided to go with something Halloweeny and festive. A tribute to one of my favorite car songs as a child. As usual, the song was completely foreign to Thatboy, but perhaps you'll recognize it?

Great green gobs of greasy, grimey, gopher guts
mutilated monkey meat
little birdies' dirty feet
Great green gobs of greasy, grimey, gopher guts
and I forgot my spoon!

Great Green Gobs of Greasy Grimey Gopher Guts (Chicken and Pesto Pasta)
1 chicken breast
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
8 oz spaghetti
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup pesto
  1. Combine basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary and use this picture to cover chicken.
  2. Cook spaghetti to your desired doneness.
  3. As spaghetti is cooking, heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Cook chicken 6-7 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  4. When pasta is done, don't drain it - use tongs to transfer hot pasta directly into serving bowl. Reserve the pasta water.
  5. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and add to pasta.
  6. Toss pesto with the pasta and chicken, adding reserved pasta water to create a sauce of your desired thickness. (If you like your pesto sauce really thick, don't add any water. For a thinner sauce, add more water.)

A different Halloween

For the past few years we've celebrated Halloween by heading to a party hosted by Thatboy's friend Dr.P. It's one of those parties where we judge its success by how much of my costume I am still wearing when we walk through the door when we get home. (In the past I have left shoes, jewelry, scarves and other accessories somewhere on the path between the car and the door)

This year the party didn't sound like such a great idea - at least to me. Thatboy thought we should still go and make an appearance. Somehow I just didn't feel like bringing a baby to a party filled with really drunk people sounded like something I would be interested in.

In truth, we weren't planning on doing much of anything for Halloween. We didn't even get costumes! I told Thatboy back in August when we first discussed Halloween that I planned on going as a "mommy" and he could dress up as "daddy." However, we didn't want Thatbaby to miss out on his first Halloween pictures, so we picked up a unisex outfit for our future babe to wear. Not a true costume, but something comfy and seasonal.

But, as I've said before, this motherhood thing isn't nearly as difficult as I was prepared for it to be. Which was kind of my plan. As I told Thatboy, keep your expectations low and you'll never be disappointed. I had cleared our entire schedule for October.

Last week we got a call from one of the officers Thatboy works with inviting us to a "family Halloween party." He tried to entice us with the promise of a bounce house, beer, and soda. While I was pretty sure Thatbaby wasn't going to be able to avail himself of any of these things, I gladly acquiesced to the idea of the party. I mean, it wasn't like we had any other plans.

But of course that meant we had to figure out costumes. Since Thatbaby already had the skeleton suit, we thought maybe we should all wear skeleton costumes. We headed to Target to pick up said costume, only to not really like the costumes they had. And so we stood in the costume aisle trying to figure out what we were going to do.

Struck by inspiration, I suggested going as Labyrinth characters since Thatbaby has a red and white striped onesie.

Thatboy loved the idea and grabbed a blonde wig as we headed over to the women's section to look for poofy shirts. But on our way, Thatboy was struck with inspiration of his own.

Because Thatbaby also already has sleep & plays too. So we decided we could ALL wear sleep & plays since they had them in adult sizes. A far cry from most of the "sexy" style costumes, and far more appropriate for a family party.

We also picked up a little something for Thatdog who doesn't like to be left out.

Last night we got suited up and headed out.

I do believe this was the first year I haven't been freezing in my Halloween costume! And Thatbaby did great. He's fabulous at being held and he stayed nice and cozy and warm as well. And I have to say, it's nice to be able to have a drink at parties again! I missed that when I was pregnant.

It's a totally different experience celebrating Halloween as a grownup. And honestly, I have such mixed feelings about being an honest to goodness "adult." First, because I don't really feel like a grownup - I still feel like a kid playing house. But at the same time, I am now, without a doubt, a full fledged adult with a family I'm responsible to and for.

Thatboy must be feeling the same way, because he's starting to act a lot more grownup and responsible. Including the fact he's being REALLY good about eating his vegetables. Including those he's not too fond of. Like the other night when I made brussels sprouts. In general Thatboy doesn't like brussels sprouts. He'll humor me and have a few bites if I saute them with bacon or dijon mustard, but he certainly doesn't prefer them. With that in mind, I only made a few boiled brussels sprouts, so I could load my plate up and give him one or two little guys. Imagine my surprise when he told me he wanted more than one or two - that he actually enjoyed them! He claims these don't have the same bitterness brussels sprouts usually have. I can only assume I've either broken him down, butter fixes everything, or his tastebuds have finally caught up with his age.

Brussels Sprouts
1 lb brussels sprouts
melted butter
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Wash and trim the brussels sprouts.
  2. Add the sprouts to the boiling water and boil 7 minutes. You want them to be tender, but still have a crunch to them. And they should be a beautiful bright vibrant green.
  3. Toss the hot sprouts with butter and salt.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Pumpkin Pumpkin

Anyone remember this picture from last year?