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January 30, 2013

Mommy, You're Too Fat!

It took me aback, that’s for sure.

We were playing a game of family hide-and-seek.  Baby A and I were hiding, while Daddy and Baby B were charged with finding us.  I was holding A, and we squeezed behind a door.  Apparently the spot was a little tight for the both of us, and we were sticking out, as B spotted us almost immediately.

There were the usual squeals and laughter, and then A said, “Mommy, you’re too fat!

It’s true that I didn’t account for our combined bulk against what is usually a good hiding spot...but WHERE did that come from???

I know she didn’t mean anything by it.  I feel 100% confident she was just describing the fact that we were too big for that tiny spot.

But it rolled off her tongue with such ease…I was stunned.

I calmly told her, “Sweetie, you’re right.  Together we were too big for this spot.  We’ll have to find a better hiding place next time.

But ‘fat’ is not a word we use to describe people.  Fat is the white part that we cut off meat.  And fats are found in some foods.  Some fats are good for our bodies, and some we don’t eat very often.  You know how we talk about eating a balanced diet.

I tried not to make a big deal out of it.  Certainly I don’t want her to think “fat” is a bad word…but oh, my heavens…it’s not a word we use with people.  Ack!!!

I know I overthink these things, but I feel so much pressure to model a positive body image for the girls.  I think it’s one of the biggest responsibilities I have as a parent…and it touches so many areas, too.

Not only is it about loving your body, it’s about caring for your body and respecting it as such an incredible machine. 

It’s about making good choices.

It’s about being respectful of other people.

It’s about recognizing that we’re all created differently, each with our own strengths and weaknesses.

And I know the list continues.

Whew!  Who knew hide-and-seek could be so heady???

January 29, 2013

Super Stuff on a Monday (or Tuesday, as the Case May Be)

So thankful for some super fabulous highlights from the past week!

1)     We kicked off the week with the girls’ four-year old check-ups.  We were of course thankful for a healthy report…and we were also thankful for NO TEARS!  Our big girls took their shots in perfect stride, and we celebrated as a family with a cookie and milk at Panera. 

2)     After our appointment, the pediatrician gave the girls pencils…their first.  They were SO excited to come home and use them!  While we only use them under strict supervision [can you say lead poisoning and puncture wounds???], the girls have had so much fun, mostly making lists…which, incidentally, cracks me up!

3)     Monday afternoon it was nothing short of magical to watch the President take the oath of office with the girls.  I remember four years ago on inauguration day, the girls had been home from the hospital just five days.  What an incredible difference four years makes!!!

4)     One afternoon, the girls were practicing putting each others' hair up in a ponytail.  I kept a very close eye on things…thinking one false [accidental] move could result in hair pulling…but they were so cute together!  They didn’t know how to double-over the ponytail holder [nor did I attempt to teach them!], but they had so much fun getting loose ponytails in place.  I couldn’t help but think, this is one of the sweet joys of sisterhood!

5)     On Wednesday I took the girls to have their pictures made.  After a very successful session, we decided to treat ourselves to lunch.  It was a bit early, though, so the girls and I went to Walmart to pick up some Valentine’s Day craft supplies.  They were such little helpers…picking out fabric…and then they watched so intently as the lady cut it for us.  We then enjoyed an awesome lunch.  It doesn’t hurt that one of my favorite bakeries now tops the list of the girls’ favorite places, too.

6)     The girls have been giving high fives for almost as long as I can remember, but it dawned on me that they haven’t really high-fived each other.  They were practicing this week, and it was pretty hysterical.  There again, I kept in close range, as they came perilously close to hitting each other quite a few times…but it sure was cute!

7)     Baby A has been fixated on “fuzzy socks” since she got a pair for Christmas.  B doesn’t like them very much, so A has twice the number of pairs at her disposal.  She particularly enjoys them for playing hide-and-seek, since it makes her moves even more stealth across the hardwood floors.

8)     If I had it to do over again, I would have mounted a mirror in the den for the girls long ago.  Lately, the girls seem compelled to stop in front of any mirror and dance.  And Baby A has been making the most hilarious faces at herself (and me!) as we do our bedtime routine.  She makes me laugh every time.

9)     Baby B has continued with her awesome shows of affection.  She has been planting so many kisses on this mama…my cheeks, my hands, my arms…so sweet!  And at bedtime, as I’m leaving the girls’ room, I usually rub her back for a second.  One night she found my hand and gave me the biggest hug.  Sigh!

10)  On Friday we enjoyed an impromptu day at home with Daddy, thanks to sleet and ice.  It was such a nice day…the girls were playing hide-and-seek with Daddy before 7am, and we all enjoyed a hearty family breakfast.  Family time is always good…especially when you score some “extra”!

11)  Baby B has also continued to whisper secrets in my ear.  Most of the time they’re so silly…like, “Mommy, kiss my neck,” or, “Mommy, I love books,” or, “Mommy, the sun is shining.”  I think it’s so sweet how she likes to share something so simple with me.

12)  It had been FAR too long since we’d had a family sushi date, and Saturday was the day.  Daddy and I got our raw fish fix, and the girls ate every morsel of their shrimp teriyaki…along with several pieces of the crunchy shrimp roll we got for them.  I’m so thankful that we all love our favorite Japanese restaurant so much…and I can’t wait to start sharing real sushi with the girls in a few years!

13)  One morning Baby A "built" a computer from her blocks. She was "typing" on it intently, when B peered over her shoulder. "Sissy, where's the help button on here?" "There's no help button. Ask me, I can help you."  :)

14)  While they were playing over the weekend, Daddy was mocking the girls.  Baby A told him, "You need to use your big-girl voice!"  And later, poor Daddy got schooled on zoo animals.  Daddy, that's a lorikeet, not a parrot!"

15)  And the quote of the week?  "Mommy, when are you going to shave your shoulders?"  I realized pretty quickly that B was looking at my razor in my cosmetics drawer.  Mommy doesn’t shave her shoulders, Sweetie.”  Well, under your shoulders?  I couldn’t help but laugh at her description of “armpits”…makes sense!

I wrote this post on Monday morning, but it's somehow taken me through Tuesday afternoon to get it published.  We're off to another super (and bustling!) week!

January 27, 2013

One of Our Very Favorite "Warm Your Bones" Recipes

I've been meaning to post this recipe for a while, as it is one of our family's absolute favorites.  When I saw the Question of the Week at Multiples & More was about favorite winter meals, I knew this was it.

I call this recipe "White Bean Chowder", which I think sounds a little more sophisticated than ham and beans.  :)  Really, though, there's not much "sophistication" to this set-it-and-forget-it recipe.

(This picture was taken in landscape, but for some reason Blogger flipped it on its side...and I can't figure out how to get it side-to-side again.  Sorry for the weird angle!)

1 pound dry navy or northern beans
1 thick slice of country ham, trimmed and cut into cubes
1 onion, roughly diced
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
5-6 cups of water, depending how "soupy" you want the meal to be

Soak the beans overnight, then drain and rinse.  In a standard-size crockpot, combine the beans with all other ingredients.  Cook on low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours. 

That's it!  ENJOY!!!

This is such an easy meal for our family.  I can get it going in 15 minutes during the morning, and then it's ready to eat by suppertime.  Our girls DEVOUR it, too.  The last time I made this, they each ate THREE BOWLS that first night!  I love it with some yummy bread and a crisp salad.  And the leftovers are wonderful, too.

January 25, 2013

It Finally Happened!!! But These Girlies Can't Keep a Secret for Anything!

Since they were 2 ½ weeks old, I’ve been having the girls’ pictures taken at regular intervals.  Certainly they change so very quickly, and I just don’t want to forget a thing. 

As often as we see our two favorite photographers, you’d think it would be old hat by now, but those occasions tend to make me sweat…there’s just so much pressure!  Once upon a time, the pressure was about trying to anticipate spit-up before it happened on a beautiful smocked dress.  I now know that was nothing in comparison to the pressure to try to make my girls SMILE.

I know my girlies are vibrant and radiant and full of life…and full of giggles and laughs and smiles…but turning on that charm when the camera lights start flashing?  At times it’s felt near-impossible.

Yes, I scheduled the girls to have pictures taken regularly so that I wouldn’t miss anything…and…also…knowing that ONE DAY, we’d finally hit the mark where they would SMILE on request.

Even though we just had two sets of holiday pictures made in November…and we have the girls’ birthday pictures coming up soon (and maybe Easter pictures, too)…I couldn’t resist scheduling a Valentine’s Day mini-session with our favorite family photographer.

We’ve never had professional Valentine’s Day pictures done before, and the backdrops she posted online were so stinkin’ adorable.  And…it has been TWO MONTHS since our last pictures.  Maybe the girls would be ready to SMILE???

On Wednesday morning we got all clean and shiny, dressed in our bright red best, and headed to see Miss Andi.  The girls were thrilled to find her Christmas card before we left.  They were full of conversation about her sweet babies, and about her mom’s dog, whom we saw the last photo session we had with her.

As the girls were getting into position, I told them that I thought we should SURPRISE Daddy with these pictures…what better Valentine’s Day present could he ever ask for???

They were so full of the most adorable, sometimes mischievous grins, every time I reminded them of “surprising Daddy”.

SCORE!!!  It finally happened!!!  The girls SMILED – nicely! – on request!!! 

But what were the very first words out of B’s mouth when her daddy opened the door on Wednesday night?  Daddy!  SURPRISE!!!  We had Valentine’s Day pictures made with Miss Andi!!!

Oh, well…you can’t win them all.  I’ll gladly take my SMILING pictures, even minus the element of surprise. 

Or, really…Daddy will probably have forgotten about the pictures in a couple of weeks, so it may actually be a SURPRISE after all!

January 23, 2013

A Bit About Me, January Edition

My birthday is February 23, and on the 23rd of each month, I share a couple of random things about myself.  I missed doing this last month…but it was two days before Christmas…and I just couldn’t peel myself away from holiday preparations to think about otherwise random things!  I’m making up for it this month with FOUR bits of randomness!

I love Earl Grey tea.

A year or so ago a tea shop opened on our downtown square.  It’s just across the way from the girls’ school, and when I finish my errands a bit early, with not enough time to go home, I like to go and enjoy a hot cup of tea.  The tea shop has over 40 varieties of loose-leaf tea…but I stick very close to my Earl Grey roots.  I feel like I should branch out more, but they make The Best Cup of Earl Grey…it’s hard to tear myself away!

No more soda for me!

After seeing a friend of mine (who is a nurse practitioner) compare soda to cigarettes, I couldn’t shake that revolting thought from my mind.  I swore off soda on January 14, and I’m 10 days “sober” today!  While I can’t say I’ll never indulge in an occasional root beer or ginger ale, no more mid-afternoon Diet Dr. Pepper for me.  Still the mere thought disgusts me…let’s hope it stays that way!

I love Valentine’s Day!

Cynics say it’s a Hallmark holiday, invented to sell candy and cards, but I don’t care.  I remember being so excited to trade the little penny cards with my friends in elementary school…and I’m so super excited to make red and pink heart crafts with my girlies.  I’ll admit, though, that I haven’t sprung into Valentine Mode just yet…this mama needed a little break from the holidays after the Halloween / Thanksgiving / Christmas / New Year’s / birthday celebration train.

I just can't do hats.

I see all these cute “going to the gym” mamas buzzing around town, looking absolutely adorable in their ball caps and ponytails.  I see all these glamorous mamas in their sun hats (at least in other people’s photos and on Pinterest).  And I see these stylish beanie hats and berets in the fashion magazines.  I just can’t do it.  I do wear a ball cap when I go for a walk on a sunny day…but I think it makes me walk / run faster, motivated to get home quickly to free my head.  I will wear a sun hat if I have to, but I’d rather just hang in the shade.  I don’t know what it is, but my head needs to breathe, I guess!  

Told ya...random!!!