Thursday, November 01, 2007

livin' la vida (pollo) loco

Ah, Halloween. Ghosts and goblins, pumpkins and black cats.

And chickens. Lots and lots of chickens. And a witch named Jen.

The chickens are Jen's peeps.

This is their story.

Halloween 2007 started out like any other day.

Jen the witch had to battle each of her peeps to get dressed. When she came to the littlest chicken, Chicken Little, she noticed that he had a big poop that Jen needed to change. But first, she decided to give Chicken Little a bath because she couldn't rightfully remember the last time he had a bath, which in the house of chicken meant it was time.

While she filled up the infant tub with water, Jen's other three peeps felt obligated to "help". They pushed chairs over to the sink and scurried up. Submerging their arms up to their elbows in water they splashed about merrily. William chicken grabbed a measuring cup off the counter and filling it up with water - dumped it all over Elizabeth chicken - who was now soaked and required an outfit change.

An outfit change would have to wait because Chicken Little was bare and getting chilly.

Jen placed Chicken Little in the tub and immediately, the water turned murky. William chicken, armed with his measuring cup, scooped up murky water and before Jen could stop him, drank it down in one swift gulp.

She lifted Chicken Little out of the tub, and holding a soaking wet, squirmy and slippery infant with one arm, removed her three peeps from the chairs with the second arm and used her legs to push the chairs FAR AWAY from the sink. She then dumped the murky water down the drain and refilled the tub with clean water. She replaced Chicken Little and finished his bath with out any further interruptions from her peeps - who were now distracted with the hamper and throwing dirty clothes all over the kitchen.

In the afternoon, Jen thought that it would be fun for her peeps to scoop seeds out of their pumpkins. Although her peeps had never scooped out seeds from a pumpkin before, Jen suspected that it would be a rather messy endeavor and decided to hold the production outside. She poured apple juice for everyone and prepared a cup of warm tea for herself. Once outside, the peeps gleefully scooped the seeds from their pumpkins.

For a solid forty-five seconds, they were entertained.

Then, they found other things to do.

Like, give their little pumpkin a bath in Jen's nice cup of warm tea.

This is when Jen decided that even at 3 PM, a Corona would have been a much better beverage choice. If for no other reason - her peep's would have been unable to shove a pumpkin down the neck of the bottle.

Once the seeds were removed, several pumpkins were expertly carved by Daddy chicken. Jen noticed that the pumpkin's faces expressed looks of happiness, shock, dismay and pure horror, which are extremely consistent with the demeanor in the house of chicken at any point in time.

Moving everyone back inside, Jen carefully cleaned all of the seeds that had been scooped from the pumpkins and placed them on a cookie sheet. She then sprinkled Mediterranean sea salt across the top of them and stuck them in the oven to roast. Everyone waited in anticipation for the tasty snack to cook.

When the seeds were finished, Jen moved them in to a bowl and invited the peeps to come have a taste. While Jen and Daddy Chicken reviewed plans for the evening, they lovingly gazed upon their little peeps who were so clearly enjoying a Halloween tradition that they had embraced their whole lives.

They were soon distracted by their conversation and stopped looking DIRECTLY at their peeps. A few moments later, Daddy Chicken scooped up a hand full of seeds - threw them in his mouth - and then curiously inquired why all of the seeds were wet? And, lacked any salt??

While pretending that he wasn't watching them, Daddy Chicken quickly solved the mystery when he watched his little peeps do "salt source removal" on one seed at a time, before placing it back in the bowl and laugh at their sneakiness.

Naughty peeps.

Soon, darkness fell and it was time for Jen to get her peeps in their Halloween costumes. Jen is a thrifty witch (or more appropriately a "cheep"skate here at the house of chicken) because she saw no reason to buy her peeps brand new costumes when they could still squeeze in to the costumes from last year.

Well, except Chicken Little. But he wasn't here last year.

Once they were dressed, Jen went outside to light the candles in the Jack-O-Lanterns that were artistically placed around the yard. It was a windy night and Jen was having a difficult time keeping the candles lit. By the time she would light one candle - and moved on to the next - she noticed the candle had been extinguished in the first. In addition to the wind causing problems, Daddy Chicken noticed that the peeps were singing "Happy Birthday Pumpkin" and blowing out the candles.

Jen posed with her peeps for a quick picture and was particularly glad that they had "crowns" on top of their heads that she could grab to make them stand still.

The peeps and Daddy Chicken took off to go trick-or-treating while Jen stayed behind with Chicken Little and attempted to hand out 16.8 pounds of candy.

When the trick-or-treaters came by the door, Jen would unload hand fulls of candy. She was not pacing herself, or thinking about the quantity of candy that she needed to get through the night. The goal was simple. Get Rid Of It All.

By the time Daddy Chicken and the peeps came back, Jen was down to less than 10 pieces. It took several minutes and a lot of negotiation for Daddy Chicken to get the pumpkin carriers away from the peeps. They absolutely positively did not want to part with their candy.

While the peeps took their bath and Daddy Chicken got them ready for bed, Jen finished handing out the remaining candy. Jen should have turned off the lights, but she was busy feeding Chicken Little and thought that in the past, kids didn't come trick-or-treating past 8:00, anyway.

But what Jen didn't consider is that this year, Day Light Savings time doesn't end until next weekend, so kids were out an hour later than in the past. When the doorbell rang at 8:15 PM, Jen looked around frantically, and spotted her peep's pumpkins ... overflowing with candy that Jen would much prefer they NOT eat. And that SHE not eat.

Grabbing a pumpkin carrier she opened the door and started handing out candy. Just then, two of her peeps came around the corner, with wet hair and clean pajamas and watched Jen distribute candy from THEIR pumpkin carriers. One of the peeps fell to the ground crying while the other peep yelled "Oh no dammit!! Dat MY candy!!"

Did I mention Jen is a witch?

A very bad witch who cares about her children's teeth ... her own waistline ... and clearly needs to do a better job not using fowl foul language around the peeps.

At least her camera skills are improving.

Actually, they're not. A photography class is definitely in order.


  1. Dear Jen and Charlie et al.

    I love your blog! I read it every day, and it makes me laugh out loud, which is a good thing because recently that has been my only form of exercise.

    You two have HEART!

    Much Love, Susan

  2. Love it! And yes, I recycle candy from my kids stash too. Now that they are older, I let them choose a specified number of "special treats" that I won't touch. The rest is fair game for the adults or handing back out.

  3. You all look great in your chicken outfits. Mama still has her Greenville Hat--good for you.

  4. this was so CUTE! I laughed out loud at the first picture almost dying of the cuteness. And the story is priceless. Loved it.
    Happy Halloween to you all!

  5. Henry is a doll! Those pics are great and you ARE getting much better with the took some really great pics. I love your story-telling abilities...

  6. They look so sweet in their little costumes! Love them! You look cute, too.

    The close-up pics of Henry made me realize he looks like Carolyn (at least I think so)...!

  7. i'm exhausted just READING about this! sounds like a halloween to remember (or maybe to forget...)

    perhaps one of those coronas...

  8. Oh my goodness! They look so stinkin' cute!!!

  9. Shayna wore her costume from last year, too! It was by choice and I wasn't going to argue, cuz this was the only night of the year she's working for mom and dad! She lugged around her (I mean my) candy for at least 45 minutes trick or treating last night. we pay her with M&Ms... she has no idea what a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup tastes like... WAH HAHAHA! I'm so bad!
    BTW, thanks for getting the kiddos to call Shayna and sing happy birthday. She loved it! Sorry we'll miss you guys this weekend. I love peanut butter cups! LOL!

  10. If my children wake up from my laughter I am holding you personally responsible! That was so funny!

  11. Is it bad I think the funniest part is one of them saying dammit?? I know it's wrong, but it just totally made me laugh out loud!

  12. So awesome. Chickens AND a chick AND a preschooler saying dammit. This made Halloween worth it.

  13. Oh this was so funny and cute! Actually I really love your artistic photo at the end! It captures that feeling of chaos that characterizes halloween!

    Your peeps are gorgeous too :)

  14. Ohmygosh! They are cute as cute can be! :)

  15. Jen, you and your peeps are adorable! The picture of Chicken Little and his lip is just beautiful

  16. Damn it, Jen, this means our kids can hang out together without me worrying yours might pick up some "fowl" language! LOVE IT! I squeezed mine into their three little pigs two years in a row too! Good for you!

  17. Love your the peeps, they are so cute!

  18. LOL!! I was laughing so hard that I could barely read it aloud to my husband.

    The new picture of the kids in costume is GREAT!!

  19. My 2 year old says "Oh dammit" all the time and I have a hard time telling her to stop because I'm laughing to hard. They are so funny, aren't they?

  20. That was TOO FUNNY - and the costumes were ADORABLE! The fact tht you managed to get them all in costume at all - let alone all at the same time - certainly deserves an award!