Category Archives: Food Glorious Food

Veggie Time

 The other evening my mom was over playing with us while Chad was at church.  After some time of playing dress up…

 

and trying on hats…

 and riding our horse (with more hats)…

We were ready for dinner.

We like to play some games during dinner.  Our favorite game is called, “Whose milk is that?” whereby we ask the girls, “Whose milk is that?” and they identify it as “Mommy’s milk” or “Daddy’s milk” or “Tessa’s milk” or “Nor Nor’s Milk”.  It’s fun and we go around and around the table.  Since Grammy was sitting with us that night, we were able to practice “Grammy” which is just starting to sounds like “Gra”, but we’re working on it.  They also like to tell each person when they are “all done! all done!”

We made up a variation of this game called, “Boy, is this milk delicious” whereby a person takes a swig of their milk and they follow it with a loud and refreshing “AHHHHHH!!!” sound.  Everyone got multiple turns.  As I noticed that the girls were not eating their carrots, I decided to take this game one step further.  So, I took a carrot off of Tessa’s plate and made a big deal rubbing my tummy and saying, “Mmm Mmm DELICIOUS!”.   Then I pointed at Grammy–her turn!  “Mmm Mmm DELICIOUS!” she said.  Then I pointed at Tessa, who is not adverse to vegetables but chooses normally not to eat so many of them, and she popped one in her mouth and smiled, rubbed her tummy and said, “mmm mmm”.  Not totally convincing, but she DID eat a carrot.  Then, it was Nora’s turn, who also enthusiastically popped a carrot into her mouth.

Her face dropped.  Half gagging on the disgustingness that is a carrot, she thrust the half chews bits back out of her mouth with her tongue as Grammy and I roared with laughter and shrieked, “Don’t laugh! Don’t laugh!”

That kid genuinely does not like carrots.

Oh well.  Sorry baby.

Whipping Crayons

One of my favorite things about the one-year-old crowd is that you never know what it is that they are going to find fascinating.  You could be in a warehouse of toys and somehow, I believe, my children would gravitate toward the used plastic food containers with lids.

Behold, the CoolWhip Free containers:

 

I’m not going to lie.  We eat a lot of CoolWhip Free.  Actually, I think I eat most of it.  Of course, it is consumed in the name of providing my children with life lessons of opening and closing containers and putting certain objects inside and outside of said containers until the cows come home–so it is a sacrifice I feel is worth the extra poundage.  Add eight fat crayons to these glorious buckets-o-fun and you’ve got yourself near 30 minutes of unfettered creative play.

 

We open them; we close them.  We shake them; we carry them.  We take the crayons out; we put the crayons back in.  Of course, like all things around Walmer Street–there are a few rules.  The crayons do not leave the picnic table unless they are in a closed container.  You may walk around with them in the closed container, but once the container is opened you must return to the table.  The other day a crayon inadvertently rolled off the table and Tessa reeeeached for it while still trying to keep her bottom on the bench.   Tess = rule-follower.

 

We grab our crayons by the fistful and scribble like mad.  We are mostly into the “dotting” method of coloring whereby we slam the fistful of crayons into the paper to get the most dramatic granular, broken, and flickering effect – qualities not unlike those found in the impressionist works.

The picnic table has taken a few hits that are a necessary consequence of the “dramatic” arts that is our coloring, but we like to think of it as an extension of our art.

We’re serious about this, you know.  Verrrry serious, indeed.

A tribute to Pumpy…

symphony25w.jpegYesterday was a big day for me.  I would say “us” but this is really a selfish post.  It’s about me.  My pumping, my milk, the sacrifice of my time, my energy, my body.  Yesterday I returned Pumpy, my breastpump, to my lactation consultant.  It was possibly the second greatest moment of my life (the first, of course, being the girls).  I’m done.  My last pump was last Thursday and now I’m done.  Hallelujah.

The girls will be seven months tomorrow. It’s been an incredible journey so far–packed with meals of sweet milk and kisses, baby food, endless diaper changings, outgrowing newborn clothes and playing Playing PLAYING all the time. Of all of the challenges that I’ve faced as a new mother of twins–more than the sleep-deprivation, more than the simultaneous crying, more than the separation of going back to work–I steadfastly maintain that breastfeeding is at the top of the list. Breastfeeding is a constant battle for my time, energy and the body I so desperately want back.

As I look back on the last seven months I wonder how on earth did I make it this long and why? The “why” is the easier question as it is difficult to challenge the numerable benefits of breastfeeding. There is a lot of research that shows that breastfed babies may be healthier and smarter babies than their formula-fed counterparts. Much of this research may be debatable–as I, for one, was a total formula-fed baby and seemed to be a well-adjusted, healthy, intelligent person. But I have always felt like I should try to breastfeed my girls so that they will have the best possible start to life. While I was committed in my mind to making this happen, the reality of breastfeeding two babies is that you need some help. Making it seven months has not come without trials and obstacles. So, if you are in need of a few tips, this is how I have made it this far.

1. Get a “hands-free” nursing bra. Pumping would not be happening without my Easy Expression Bustier from mommygear.com. You do not have to hold the cups so it leaves you hands free to read a book, take a drink of water, flip channels on the TV, write email messages. Whatever! I love this thing.

2. Get multiple pump parts.  Target has them cheap.  I got enough parts to last all day at work so when I finished I would throw the parts in a plastic bag and then toss them in the dishwasher when I got home.  This saved me from either hand-washing them at work (gross) or doing the microwave thing.  Let’s get real–this process already takes a long time, why waste more time cleaning at work when you can get extra parts for a few bucks.

3. Find a lactation consultant that works with you, who supports you, who understands and helps you. If you can’t find a lactation consultant that you like, find a friend who understands, who sympathizes, who has been there before. Breastfeeding can be tough and you need to find encouragement and support no matter whether you decide to breastfeed or not. If you can’t find a friend like this–call me.

4.  Get a kitchen timer that counts down.  My mom thought of this and it was great to just set the timer and forget about it until it beeped.  I really loved this idea.

5. Join a lactation support group. I thought this was a good idea for moms who needed some guidance and support. My biggest problem with it was that there were mothers at my group with teeny tiny babies who really should be cuddled up on their couches at home and kangerooing with their babies and NOT at some hospital on a hard chair trying to get a baby to latch on at some random hour of the day. I think kangerooing with your baby is the best way to establish good nursing practices.

6. Befriend you pump. Give it a name. My pump is named “Pumpy.” We have a love/hate relationship. Pumpy gets a lot of time and priority in my life but that is because I have decided to do this. I don’t have to do this. I can let it go at any time. But I decided to make Pumpy a priority and until I decided to stop I did not begrudge Pumpy and the hours of attention she took from me everyday (and night and day and night and day and night–you get the picture).

7. Relax. It is physically demanding to give birth. Top that off with a little sleep deprivation, crying (the babies and ME) and worrying and things can get difficult quickly.  I always need to remind myself to just stop and just reflect on the girls and remember what is really important in life.  My girls.

Finally, and most importantly, I wanted to thank those who have supported me on this endeavor.  It has been difficult but it was so important to me and I couldn’t have done it without the support and the extra hands to watch the girls when I pumped and pumped and pumped.  Just a few…

Amanda, I could not have done it without your support–so many of these helpful tips came from you.  You inspired me with your strength and courage and all the obstacles you faced when pumping.  Everytime I thought about giving up–I thought of you and I kept going.  You gave me great ideas and suggestions on how to really make this work for me.  Thank you for your guidance.  I leaned on you during some of the more difficult times of this endeavor and you were always so encouraging and supportive no matter what decision I made.  Thank you.

Mom, you are my rock and my strength.  You have given so much of your time and energy to making this work for us. Thank you for taking over when we needed a break.  Thank you Thank you Thank you.

Jennifer. Jennifer, also a mother of newborn twin girls, came up to me at my first lactation group meeting–right before I lost it–and inspired me with her wisdom and love.  Thank you for your support, your words, your encouragement. Wow.

Chad.  What can I say?  I love you.  Thank you for taking control when I needed to pump and pump and pump.  I’m glad it’s over now so let’s get some sleep.

Pumpy.  Nursing was too difficult with both babies past about three months (the teething started early!) and so this would have never happened without you.  I resented you for the time, the pain, the energy that was sapped from my already worn and tired body.  But, I loved you for what you allowed me to give to my babies.  This was so important to me and we made it happen.  Thank you.  And good-bye!

More Food and Some Shades

As the teething marathon continues (five tooths each now–three on bottom, two BIG ones on top), we have introduced the famed Zwieback Toast.

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Delish. The toast is mostly yummy and crumbs get everywhere, including in the folds of the washcloth-evasive triple chins.

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To wash down the toast (which could really use some jam) sippy cups have made their appearance and make for good chew toys.  They also act as water sprinklers for the dog and dying household plants.

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When we’re finished chowing down for the afternoon we are going on marathon walks.  It’s been particularly sunny (and increasingly warmer) here.  So, we have to don our shades.

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Have your peeps call my peeps and we’ll chat.

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