Saturday, October 05, 2013

Easy as Apple Pie

I know I say this all the time, but man grad school really fucked me up.

I cannot handle the pressure of any sort of deadline hanging over my head.

This is really handy because it means I do things like clean the kids' backpacks out, file their papers, send any permission slips and checks back in their folders, and wash and pack their special snowflake bento boxes within 10 minutes pf them coming home and settling down for a snack.  On my days home with  the babies I also typically have the laundry washed, folded, and put away by 11:00.

But, my deadline aversion can also be really incapacitating.  It's why my dissertation remains untouched 4 plus years after its defense, for example.  It's why Ben did the bulk of the work on our PTO fundraiser last week, and it's why I have been procrastinating the shit out of a huge work project.  There are other, less direct, consequences as well.  I have stopped reading books, for example, and I have been super bitchy and nervous.

Basically, deadlines make me do one of 3 (or sometimes all 3) things: Do things super efficiently and immediately and way in advance of any sort of due date, AVOID AVOID AVOID, or completely detach and refuse to commit/start/put forth any real effort (this is slightly different than AVOID because I have usually made some sort of half-assed commitment).  The last 2 things are accompanied by a healthy dose of anxiety and irritability.  I guess all 3 of them are, actually, because when I am doing that laundry at 10:15 am, I AM DOING THAT LAUNDRY, and nothing is going to stop me, damnit.

When I am avoiding a deadline, I feel terrible about it all the time, even when I don't realize that I feel terrible.  And I become really bad at stuff-- like reading (I mean, I CAN read, but I lose my commitment to the project and just spend my down time staring at the internet), blogging, working on Dorothy's baby book, scheduling things like holiday card pictures and after school Spanish club and babysitters for PTO meetings, and remembering to answer emails.

Then a magical thing happens.  I get my shit back together, and everything goes smoother.  Even minor annoyances like a baby who doesn't sleep  and seemed like THE WORST THINGS IN THE WORLD when I was avoiding my work are NBD (snuggley and sweetly scented even).

All of this is a roundabout way of saying I am working on work again and the guilt is gone and I made a kickass apple pie for the first time ever.


I made her pears too thin, but it was a happy mistake because she could try oatmeal.  Spoiler alert:  SHE LOVES OATMEAL.  I made her apples too thin on purpose today, and she had apples mixed with oatmeal and cinnamon for breakfast.  Like she's a person! (I freaking love making baby food, BTW).
 Cooper insists on mousse for his hair, coco butter lotion for his feet, and deodorant for his tummy (?) every morning when I get out of the shower.
 These two like to play together

 He really is still a baby.  The other day, I took him and Harry to Trader Joe's on an emergency pie pumpkin run, and realized how much he enjoyed being the baby on our trip.  I got a glimpse of how his life would be different if he WERE still the baby.  I think fewer tantrums for sure.
 She has mastered the scoot backwards and get stuck under the crib move.
 Scandalously, I made this pie with non organic butter.  I KNOW.  But I still let the kids eat it because they have to help me eat all sweets or else I will be crane lifted out of my house someday.

I have never successfully made pie crust before (secret: cube your butter and freeze it for an hour; use ice water; use a food processor to mix briefly-- we are talking little pulses between additions, and only use enough water so your crumbly dough hangs together when you pinch it).
 Because of all the butter (SO MUCH BUTTER), the crust got all puffy and flaky right away.  I was so proud I took pictures while it cooked (and texted them to my mom and brother)
 Delicious. And lovely.  With ice cream, it might be the best after school snack of the (calendar) year.  SO FAR.  I have a couple months left to top myself.


  1. That is one beautiful pie. I love making crust and do the food processor short cut too. I have not tried freezing the butter (only refrigerated). Will have to try that next time!

    James is so happy when he is the only boy. SO happy.

  2. And also, ditto on the procrastination. Which reminds me that I need to go work and fold laundry. Saturday night par-tay.

  3. I become so efficient at everything else when I'm avoiding other things. My house has never been as clean as when I was writing my dissertation. That pie looks freaking delicious! So jealous!