Monthly Archives: December 2009

Before I Forget, A Recommendation

I don’t know about you, but I have had trouble finding palatable children’s Christmas movies. One would think that since there are about a gazillion of them that it would be easy. Not so much for me. We did stumble upon one this year that not only didn’t make me gag, but was actually really great for a couple of reasons.

First off, it is a Veggie Tales video called Veggie Tales: Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving. Since our family celebrates St. Nicholas Day on December 6th rather than doing santa on December 25th this movie was AWESOME. It doesn’t tell the Christmas story, so if you are looking for that it won’t be a good fit. But, if you are trying to figure out how to mesh the santa thing with Christmas in a way that is linked to Jesus this is perfect. And, it explains why we celebrate santa and teaches kids that he was in fact a real person who did great things because he loved God. I am a Veggie Tales fan to begin with, not only because they incorporate Biblical stories and concepts, but because frankly it is extremely entertaining as a parent. There are many videos the girls like that are slightly painful for me to sit through, but this is definitely not one of them. I put a link to Amazon above, but I actually bought it at Target for $9.00, which is cheaper. Not sure if they will still have any around, but worth a try if you are thinking about getting it for next year or heck, as I’m sure we will be watching it all year round, for tomorrow.

So there you have it, a little video recommendation to help you pass those gloomy days of winter. You are so welcome.


And Then There Were Three

For the last week we have been blessed to have family in town. It is so much fun and definitely a wonderful change for the girls and I. We had a great time hanging out, going on various adventures together, and celebrating Christmas. Even the Doc had 5 days off!! I always feel a bit of a let down after guests leave, which is probably a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I can’t wait for visitors to head out and welcome the return of my semi-quiet home again. It’s always hard to find that balance of visit length, isn’t it? You want family to stay long enough to have quality time together, but without everyone driving each other nuts. On this end, that was definitely achieved.

The other thing achieved this Christmas? I managed to completely overeat at every meal. Oh golly, any form of self control was gone and I ate a fabulous variety of treats, meats, and soda. I don’t buy regular soda, or really any diet for that matter, unless we have people in town. Why? Because I LOVE it. Regular soda in all its sugary glory is a little piece of heaven to me. Oh how I love it. And yet the price that my poor belly and thighs pay for my over indulgence is too steep to make it a regular deal. Oh well. Back to drinking exciting things like water and going to the gym.

I will confess that what didn’t happen this year was a completion of the 25 Days of Giving. We managed to pull off about 20, which worked great for our family and I can’t wait to do it again next year. I hope that in the future we can do more activities that allow us to meet and interact with others. I told the girls about who we were making things for, but would like for them to experience it in a more real way. Make sense? At any rate, I am grateful for the suggestion, thanks Train To Crazy, and would love to hear about your experience.

Alas I will end this quite random post. Next up will be my “How We Rocked 2009” post. Stay tuned. (or not). Your call.

Feliz Navidad

The presents have been opened, our bellies are full of some fabulous beast, and the babies are snuggled up asleep in their beds. The day was relaxing, wonderful and I spent it all in my pj’s. Hope you had a day that was filled with good food, family, friends, no need to shower, and the peace and love of Jesus. Nothing like gathering around a nice warm toffee bread pudding with one sweet candle to sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. Here’s hoping your birthday party was just as great.

Merry Christmas!

Public Restroom Fun, For Your Entertainment

The Doc got home at 5 last night. Let me say that again people…FIVE O’CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON! We had to take advantage of such a rare treat, so I hopped online and googled some good restaurant coupons. Ah ha, TGI Friday’s BOGO and we were good to go. Unfortunately it’s a good 20 minutes away without traffic and we were leaving at 5:45. But, it wasn’t too bad and we rolled in around 6:30 with a backseat of happy little girls. Amazing. After we were all settled at our table the hostess came by to ask us to move, which would have been fine by itself, but she added in the bonus of a free dessert. She had me at free. Relocation successful and good to go. It was then time to take a certain small person to the potty. The public potty. The dreaded land of unknowns. Will a rogue hand dryer foil the plan? What if there is squirming and those sweet little bunsies hit the nasty toilet water below? And yet, the little white travel potty was so far away in the below 20 degree car and Molé had not gone in 2 hours after consuming a large beverage. It was go time.

First of all, you never realize just how large the regular toilet opening is until you take a small child to the restroom. I mean, are our adult booties really that huge? Evidently, yes. Often I bring along a little potty seat, so we don’t have the fear of falling in or have to deal with small hands groping and exploring the toilet seat. But, I was going commando in a sense and it was her little tush and that potty with no go between. The first round I tried to just put her on with her pants around her ankles. No dice. Then I decided to sing a little bit of “Bad Babies” which happens to be her favorite song. She enjoyed the singing, but nothing. Alas, I gave up and we headed back to the table.

More coloring, some ordering and more time passed before I saw the tell tale sign of a shimmy. Not familiar with the term? This is a shake/shiver motion that my children do when they need to pee. As BQ has explained when I’ve called her out on the motion, “It’s okay, I was shaking the pee pees away.” Unfortunately while this technique is often effective in the short term, its long term effectiveness has a batting average of 0. At the the same time the shimmy was taking place, BQ relayed that she too needed to use the facilities. So the Doc took the ladies back. Meanwhile their food arrived and I was able to get it all set and ready for them which was actually quite fabulous. The three return and I can easily tell through eye contact with the Doc that the little one did not have success. Whatever, I decide I am going to just relax and not worry. That is until I see another shimmy 10 minutes later.

I’m on it, back to the potty. This time, I pretty much move in. We remove the pants and big girl panties, aka “bg’s” so that she can put one leg on each side of the toilet seat which ensures slightly better balance. No dice. I sing “ABC’s” and she sings along but no urine. I go back to “Bad Babies” upon her request and nothing. Then she squirms and I pull her off. I throw her around, do the upside down thing and then psych up for more. She sits backwards, she sits forwards. I sing the pee pee song, I sing the poo poo song. Nothing. Not a drop escapes her bladder of steel. By now, she hasn’t gone in close to four hours, and has downed about half of her juice at the dinner table. The clock is ticking and I am getting nervous as I visualize the cascade of urine that is sure to be flowing down the highchair and onto the crowded restaurant floor within the hour. Hmm, what to do. I finally decided that after providing so much entertainment and commentary to the 20 or so women that have passed through the bathroom during our stay, I was done. Show over and back to the table.

After another 15 minutes and yet another bathroom trip, this time with the Doc, we were about finished with our meal and ready to head out. The fabulous dessert had arrived as promised, though Molé was not given a single bite after her potty attitude. If you only knew the things that I had promised and attempted to bribe her with in those desperate moments. Good thing she’s not old enough to know the weakness this momma displayed. Anyway, I was totally done at this point and so I took Molé out to the car to be saved by the little white potty once more. We hop in and I realize that yes, the potty is about the same temp as an ice cube. I fire up the engine and place said potty in front of the vent hoping to warm it up enough. Oh success, the little one seems to accept the temperature and plops down next to me in shotgun. There she is big coat on, pants around her ankles, potty on the passenger seat, and a piece of ranch coated chicken in her hand. Whatever the reason, the chicken or the potty, I soon heard that beautiful sound that I had been longing for- that’s right, that sweet sound of a little girl opening the flood gates, because seriously there was a lot of urine, and going potty at last. The battle was over and while I can’t say that I was exactly victorious, we had all come out alive and that was a good thing.

Love the potty adventures. What about you? You know I’d love to hear your stories. This Christmas I wish for you potties that are always within reach on your outings, hand dryers that don’t freak out your kids, warm toilet seats, small toilet openings, and the sweet sounds of urine flowing into the potty and not onto your in-law’s newly refinished hardwood floors during Christmas dinner. Happy potty-ing!

Down in the Valley

This last week has been rough. Not only was I taken out of the running for “Mother of the Year” I made a huge jump toward claiming the “Crankiest/Most Frazzled/Most Out of Patience Mother of the Year” award. I can’t say there was one specific reason for my mood. Maybe it was the fact that BQ had started having full body screaming tantrums again, or that Molé a month after potty training came down with diarrhea causing her to completely lose the ability to control any bodily fluids wishing to escape her body. Whatever the reason, the meltdowns or the poop, those were some tough days.

I know from talking with my friends that are moms that I am not alone in these low times. As moms, we get to experience (as my mom would say) the “highest of highs and the lowest of lows,” as we parent. Many times the lows catch us off guard and throw us for a major loop. With each step forward, there are two or three back. I keep hoping that with the next stage things will finally be “easy.” After almost four years of being a mom I have come to the conclusion that “easy” does not exist. Honestly, saying those words out loud is quite liberating. Not only is it freeing, but I find that it actually helps me to be a better mom. Rather than wishing away the various developmental stages of my girls or fixating upon what I think will be, I am able to live in the now. I can embrace a child with a stiff back who fights me to get into the carseat, or one who spends 30 minutes in her room screaming for me to fix her pants because they are not all facing the same way! (oh the irony that this insanely disorganized and cluttered momma has a type A, all things in order child). And, I can take these valleys as they come without spending the entire time trying to climb up, out and away as fast as humanly possible. The valleys aren’t all bad after all. They teach me, they stretch me, they strip me down and ultimately make me a better mom. God is all about making what’s stinky, broken, and run down into something shiny, fragrant, and energized. When I am willing to look with fresh eyes and a humble heart, I can see what’s emerged from the rubble. I can see that even while I was feeling stuck in a valley, God himself was moving.

We have had two days without a screaming fit and only one rouge poop has escaped the unsuspecting bunsies of a naked toddler. I’ve felt ready to engage with my girls again- what a relief! I don’t ever want these low times to mark who I am as a mom or how I engage with other moms. What a waste if all we ever took away from the valleys was resentment, bitterness, and a whole bunch of reasons to complain. I hope you aren’t reading this from a place of screaming or sick kids, but if you are, hang in there. May you see in the midst of the cleaning and seemingly endless timeouts the beauty in your children and the gift that it is to be a mom.

Mimi’s Mac N’ Cheese

Last night I was in the mood for some comfort food. I don’t know about you, but to me nothing says comfort food like homemade mac n’ cheese. When I was pregnant with BQ we were living in Texas where there is a certain restaurant chain called Luby’s. Have you been there? Let’s just say, in the words of the Doc, it is a “no teeth required” cafeteria style, jello flavors of the world representing, drown your sorrows in side dishes kind of place. My entree of choice while with child? Roast beef with a side of mashed potatoes with gravy and mac n’ cheese. Oh the satisfaction of that meal in those days. Definitely the best cure for any first trimester nausea.

Well, I don’t have the excuse of being pregnant anymore, but yesterday was one of those days where a healthy, well balanced meal was not in the cards. Luckily, I had this little recipe card on hand, calling to me, promising to deliver warm, gooey, cheesy goodness at a moment’s notice. The girls call Doc’s mom Mimi and this is her recipe. Luckily Mimi’s husband, Papa, is as passionate about cheese as I am so this recipe does not disappoint. And let’s be honest, how could something that involves pasta, butter, cheese, milk and flour as its main ingredients taste bad.

So here goes my first attempt at being a blogging mom who is crafty and domestic and posts recipes with beautiful pictures of food. I apologize that I forgot to take a pic of the finished product before we had eaten half, but you get the picture. Without further ado, Mimi’s Mac N’ Cheese.

The stuff you need:
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
3 T butter (or margarine)
3 T flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt (or you can just salt to taste)
Dash of pepper (does anyone really know what a dash is?)
2 cups shredded cheese (whichever kind you prefer)

Cook macaroni until tender and drain.

Melt butter in a skillet or pan and blend in flour.

Add milk and stir until thick. (use medium heat and no hotter). Add salt, pepper, and cheese and stir until cheese is melted and mixed in (or insanely gooey and you cannot keep your fingers out of it).

Mix sauce with macaroni. If you want it to be gooey, eat it as is. If you prefer it with a little crispy on top and less gooey, you can bake it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or so. Either way, it’s amazing!

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do. And thanks for the great recipe Mimi.

Day 9, So Fine

25 Days of Giving is still in full swing over here. We have managed to complete most of our projects and the girls seem to be enjoying the process. Well, Molé is pretty oblivious, but BQ seems to actually be absorbing some of what I’m saying so that is encouraging. I have lost count of the number of cards we have made, but it never seems to get old. It’s been fun to share the story of the recipients with BQ each day. Even in the moments when I’ve felt she was way too lost in a little girl’s glitter glue heaven to retain anything she shows me that she is learning, and beginning to delight in serving others. And that is awesome.

It’s Fun to Stay At The…

That’s right everybody sing it out with me, “Y M C A.” Or in our case, it’s fun to PLAY at the YMCA! The Doc’s parents have given us a couple months of membership to this blissful place for Christmas. What a great way to get through our last winter here in New England. They have a beautiful pool, great workout area, and even a place for the kids to play while we workout. Amazing. I can’t wait to have a great place to go on those cold, dreary, winter days. Oh and sorry about getting that song in your head.

25 Days is Rolling on

I apologize that I have not been keeping up with the 25 Days of Giving here in blogland. The Doc’s parents are here through tomorrow, so I have been using my free time to socialize. We have been living la vida glitter and I am seriously considering going into the card making business. BQ is now asking daily to make cards. So fun. How have your days been? Would love to hear…

Day 1, So Fun!

So, how was your first day? (25 Days of Giving if you just tuned in). I hope great. The girls made some really cute cards to go with a small care package that we are sending to my friend’s dad who is deployed in Iraq through Christmas. BQ seriously spent an hour on her card, while Molé lasted about five scribbles and five minutes. All the same, it was great and it was fun to tell them about where their cards and treats are going and why. Hopefully the card making pace can speed up a bit since we will be making around 25 or 30 between Thursday and Friday!

Anyway, tell me about your day. What did you do?