Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What, we always come to breakfast in our Hello Kitty ears...

The traditional "dance of the packages."

Checking to be sure the piles are equal (God help us if one kid has a single ounce more than the other.)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Airtight security

This is the security code you will need to use if you want to go into Audrey's room. The room is also, technically, her brother's room but more and more she is just referring to "my room" when she speaks of it-- BE THE CHANGE you wish to see in the world, right?

So you have to tap in the security code, which is composed of both letters and numbers. The numerical part is made up of the ages of everyone in the house in some kind of Zoroastrian pattern that only the designer understands.

And if you get stuck, you just hit the "Free" button and you're in. Nice!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Turkey Lurkey

Audrey volunteered- honest!- that she wanted to follow the Thanksgiving tradition of sharing the things she is thankful for at our holiday meal this year, and she decided to rehearse, tonight. So did her brother. Here is my dictation:


"I am thankful...

--to be free.
--for the Presidents.
--for policemen.
--to live in a really lovely part of the world.
--for my Mom and Dad.
--for my brother... sometimes.
--for kitty and lovey. [security objects]
--for the sun.
--for animals, including our dead cat Neko, rabbits, and pet fish.

[it was here that I thought this list of "thankfuls" might be about to turn into a wish list for Santa, and I redirected her to thinks more appropriate for expressing gratitude.]

--for my friend Alice.


"I am thankful...

--for popcorn.
--for the Easter Bunny.
--for art supplies.
--for the stove, which makes popcorn.
-for kitty [security object].

May your Thanksgiving weekend be full of sun, friends, family, animals (including your dead cat, if you have one in your past) and popcorn.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Audrey explores the feminine mystique

Searching for a way to kill time, one of Audrey's babysitters bought her these lurid press-on nails, which are fun and incredibly creepy.

She seems to understand both their intended and unintended effects quite well, because when she pressed this purple talon onto her hand she said to me, "OK, now look at this until you throw up."

I'm just about there.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ain't Necessarily So (Chickpea carries on. And on and on and on.)

A shout out to Jill B. and Richard H. S., two real-live Chickpea readers who continue to stay out of Facebook Nation, and good for you!  I just wanted to assure you that my idle threats to stop blogging were... well, idle. It was all just a bit of bleating for attention.

Which worked, I dare say.

But let's return to our blog roots, since it's a family-oriented holiday today. Here is a photo of the kids, eviscerating a pumpkin.

Happy Halloween, y'all. It's good to have your company out there.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mommy Blogger Apologizes to Nonexistent Readers For Not Posting More Often

AP Top News at 12:37 EDT...

All good things must come to an end. And also, things that are less good.

That’s the story told by Kris W., a semi-employed mother of two who announced that she may be calling it quits on her blog, ChickpeaCentral, a six-year chronicle of her madcap adventures as a fertile, overeducated, middle-class white lady.

In her press release, Kris says she feels “totally bad” about not posting more often, although it is unclear to whom this concern may be directed. “It’s a new era,” says the once prolific poster on topics as varied as the toileting habits of her two year old, and the toileting habits of that same two year old, six months later. “When you have to drag friends to your blog by updating your status to say you’ve updated your blog, it gets awkward for everyone.”

Friends alerted to the blog’s demise were surprised to hear that it still exists. “She’s all over Facebook,” said one source, briefly glancing up from her phone, “so I just assumed she was done with the baby blog thing. Do people still do those?”

Kris acknowledges that readership is down from her peak month when the site received 700 hits after a post containing the words “spica cast” went mildly viral. But she points out that her husband, her mother and at least one person in Thailand still regularly stop by to see what’s not happening. But despite the gratingly cheerful editorial style and that headachy bubble backdrop, a close friend of Kris W. (who spoke on condition of anonymity) pointed to what appears to be a darker side of Chickpea. “It can be funny sometimes, like, those kids say the gosh-darndest things! But then she’ll get a little shrill and crazy-sounding, especially mid-winter, and I’m like… is she OK?”

Asked for his response to the shuttering of Chickpea, a co-worker of Kris’s husband remarked, “Mommy blogs are like snowflakes. There are a gazillion of them and each one is exactly like all the rest. But at least it never became one of those screechy things where she’s screaming at us in ALL CAPS about stuff like the washing machine breaking down. I mean, news flash! That happens to everyone.”

When asked what projects she envisions next, Kris mentioned a possible foray into the mash-up genre she just invented called “bliction,” in which she will blog about her imaginary family as they travel the world collecting folk art and home schooling one another. The new project, tentatively titled “Happy, Fantastic!” will feature recipes and craft projects not tested by Kris or anyone else.

At press time, Kris’s husband was working at his actual job and could not be reached for comment.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mommy's New Hideaway

Dear Plow and Hearth catalogue, 

What a pleasure to set down my plow, and curl up by the hearth this afternoon to page through your fall catalogue. Now that I have tossed it into my Classic Wooden Hearth Bucket with the rest of the lavender-scented kindling, I had to send you my thanks.

I’m aglow, just like my incredibly well tended fireside, at the way you’ve anticipated my need for Fireplace Bellows, Wellingtons that take me “from garden to grocery store” (the only two locations I am aware of) and—the piece that truly captures the rustically absurd comforts of my home, the Space-Saving Canoe Shelf. Until today, I have saved space by simply not having indoor canoes, but I love your fresh ideas!

Yet it’s a much humbler product that captured my heart this season: fake boulders. Or as you’ve impishly named them, Mock Rocks. No more will I lie awake in my solid oak, four poster bed, burning with shame at the thought of “pipes, meters, stumps and bare spots” in our yard, nakedly exposed as if no one had even thought to put a pretend stone over these obscenities.

Never again will I pass by a “boulder” on someone else’s lawn and mistake it for simple geologic reality—no. I’ll see it for the sly, yet sophisticated decoy it really is, covering up some unspeakable foulness like maybe a bunch of really lame-looking actual rocks.

But if I may point out a missed opportunity: Mock Rocks are not simply a chance to to “camouflage a variety of challenges” but to actually hide oneself from challenges. Your Extra Large Mock Rock in Brown is just two discreetly placed eyeholes and a beverage holder away from being my new favorite get-away (except the hearth, obviously). How cozily I could snuggle there in my Reversible Juliet Quilt, secure in the knowledge that I am providing “visual contrast to beds and borders” while remaining completely invisible to my family!

To throw them off my scent, I have only to set the Laptop Rabbit lawn ornament out in front of my hideaway. Because (as you clearly know) my children no longer know the difference between my face and the back of an Mac PowerBook, they are unlikely to realize that this cute bespectacled rabbit is not their real mother!

But I leave the details to you, and eagerly await your spring catalogue. Back to turning my compost, or maybe just rotating the selection of tasty holiday nutmeats in my Snack Carousel…