About a year ago, when I was very large and swollen and weary and ready to JUST HAVE THIS BABY ALREADY, our little family held our inaugural F.F.F.F.F.N. (Freakin' Friday F0lwell Family Fun Night).
If I remember correctly, we ordered pizza and rented Curious George and holed up for the night, just the three of us. I remember being very weepy and hormonal, contemplating the family dynamic that was about to be radically altered, the little baby girl that was about to be a big sister, the hours of back labor likely to occur, the endless Jack Johnson songs, etc. I was a bit of a mess, but F.F.F.F.F.N. was a hit and, one year later, is still going strong.
When Byron asked Ellie what she'd like for dinner last week (sorry, Jimmy, but you're kind of a silent partner right now), she wanted "noodles like in Lady and the Tramp." Confession: I have never made proper spaghetti and meatballs for my small child, people. Negligence. And while I am not a huge fan of the balled meats, off to the grocery store we went. We picked a pumpkin, shopped, and took gross advantage of all the free things the nice people at our grocery store give to cute, drooly children. Big shout out to my Fred Meyer peeps.
While Byron and the kids did some interpretive dance and told ghost stories in the living room, I whipped up America's Test Kitchen Best Spaghetti and Meatballs. (I would re-print the recipe here, but I'm a little afraid of Christopher Kimball.) And, though my meatballs had some binding issues and kind of fell apart in the sauce and I'm fairly sure my dish would be shunned by Mr. Kimball and the entire Test Kitchen, it was truly bitchin'. And I'm pretty indifferent to spaghetti.
Ellie and Byron did a dramatic re-enactment of the famous Lady and the Tramp dinner scene while I played "Bella Notte" on iTunes.
This all should have been followed up with a viewing of that movie, but we were instead subjected to the excruciating (but adored) Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie. Byron particularly detests Pooh-Bear and his band of Merry Neurotics, but his cold, cold heart is warmed by his wee girl's complete devotion to that dopey, no-impulse-control-having bear. They snuggled on the couch and watched every tedious second.
F.F.F.F.F.N. wrapped up with the ceremonial making the first fire of the season while Ellie freaked out and did strange pagan dances in front of the fireplace. Magical!
Editor's Note: I take lots of pictures because, in a few shorts years, when Family Fun Night is filled with eye-rolling, mandatory fun, and pleas for anonymous drop-offs at malls, I have this to keep me warm: