Archive for the ‘General’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Sick Baby Makes Mommy An Unhappy Girl

Zev has been sick all week. It is not the first time, but it is the second with a true fever and because of that, probably the worst. Next to the lack of sleep and my heart aching for my little man, the most challenging part is having my twin boys doing different things. Elan is healthy but wants whatever Zev has, including the extra care and attention. In response to his dislike of this current state of affairs he has peed in his pants and thrown a few tantrums. He has also been waking up in the middle of the night wanting just to get out and sleep in my bed. So, here I am exhausted physically and emotionally because both my boys demand the equal attention I generally give them. You really can’t win as a twin mommy.

PostHeaderIcon Your Kid Is Not Potty Trained Yet????

I was helping a friend register for her baby shower and the entire process reminded me of how territorial parents, particularly mothers, are when it comes to infant care. Everyone knows the best diapers, wipes, stroller and onesie. The truth is, as I told my girlfriend, everyone does things differently and there is really no right way as long as your baby is happy and healthy. This sense that there is only one way extends to milestones and stages with your infant and toddler. Is your kid still using that sippy cup? You still give them a bottle before bed? Pacifiers at this age?

Here is what I say: Will they be wearing diapers, sucking on a pacifier and drinking from a sippy cup as they walk down the aisle for their high school graduation? While the image is hilarious, you are probably shaking your head no. The truth is, regardless of the pressures from all of the perfect parents and their meeting their milestones right on time kids, your kids will get where they need to get in due time. Sure, you need to manipulate the situation a bit and show them how to use the potty and bribe the pacifier away, but no need to rush it. I personally find it best to slowly transition. For example, you can’t pull dump the diapers, the sippy cups and the pacifier in one week or even one month. Go with the flow and see how your kids react.

In regards to dealing with those judgmental parents, learn to do it. These people are not going away. They will be telling you about their kids top grades, ability to make a goal in soccer and top 100% height until you turn blue in the face. Come up with responses that make you comfortable and don’t open your kids’ personal goals up for discussion. I suggest something like, “I’m proud of my kids. They really make me smile every day.” It’s true and no one can compare that to anything!

PostHeaderIcon The Toddlers Rule The World

Well at least that is what it feels like (see title).  Since the potty training boot camp a lot has changed. Just two weeks after the start of potty training the kids began daycare part time. I thought about these endless hours I could spend catching up on chores, reinventing my future life and career, exercising. I mean, seriously. All those hours. Truth is, I have less time.  It’s all because toddlers rule the world.

Nearing our third birthday the boys are super quite and twice as exasperating. Their minds are molding and they are making acute and cute observations. They listen more (when they feel like it) and remember more. Basically, they are entertaining me, challenging my ability to mother and distract simultaneously, and teaching me to be humble and accept bodily fluids. I have heard many a person say that this is the best and worst age and I would have to agree, although I can only compare to what was. Somehow, they make me feel that the extreme sleeplessness that came with infancy was easier than explaining to a toddler why he can’t have something, go somewhere or drive a car without ending in tears yourself.

Yes, people, parenting is tough.

So, back to changes. I’m not sure if it is school or just the addition of 2 and a half months, but my boys have seriously matured and grown tremendously. All the little life skills like dressing, putting on shoes and eating messy soup come easier to them. In fact, sometimes their extreme desire to try something new can be a challenge in itself (note tantrum over putting on shirt by ones self). These changes are welcome. Yes, I miss the little cuddly babies, but these beings can converse with me and share some likes and dislikes. They tell me when something hurts and exactly where. These advancements have made outings more interesting. I just love to see their joy in going to a store or sharing their observations with me.

The developing independence is a blessing and a curse. As I said, they rule the world. Oh, and parents, the term terrible twos is inaccurate. It’s about 2-3 years of ups and downs with tantrums, tears (yours and theirs) and lots of laughter. Even poop can be funny (I have stories).

PostHeaderIcon Twins: The Road Trip Edition

I am a week into a road trip with my two and a half year-old twin boys. Oy vay. Seriously. All things considered, they have behaved pretty well. The over 1500 mile journey to Florida saw very little car napping time (like a combined 40 minutes) and some white hair causing whiny time, but we cam out unscathed. After a few days of chasing the boys around Grandma and Grandpa’s house (no amount of hiding things up high really seems to do it) we left on the second leg of our journey, Orlando and Disney World.

To get to Disney we had to spend another 4 hours in the car. The boys were not thrilled. Apparently, the sight of the hotel room door also really freaked one of the boys out (until day 4 when we were leaving). We were tired, cranky and trying to eat dinner in public at an hour the boys usually slept. They were troopers. I felt like I deserved a raise. Like all things in parenting, it is these little sacrifices of your hair color, patience and fun that really pay off when they smile and enjoy themselves. This trip had a lot of both (sacrifices and smiles, my new band name).

In Orlando we experienced several firsts: vacationing with friends, swimming in a pool, camping out in a hotel with Uncle “Uvi” and, of course, Disney. If you are asking yourself what a 2-year-old can do at Disney, the answer is a lot. I was asking myself the same thing about parents of infants. Aside from the thrill of walking through this new and magical world, much of Disney is a slow moving vehicle with a feast for the eyes. Some of it scared the boys, but they soon learned that a little bit of dark or waiting in a line was rewarded. I had to learn to let the routine go and live in the moment. All in all, I am pleased with the results.

Although we have several more days, including the long trek up north and another hotel stay, I have already experienced and learned more than I thought possible. I have learned to reach for patience I did not think was there and to ignore whining while driving 80 down the highway. Those are the valuable lessons. The others, well, when I finish this bottle of wine I will whine about them and get over it. That is parenting. Stay fierce parents. Just stay fierce.

PostHeaderIcon Please Touch Museum

For $150 we got a 4 person membership for our local Please Touch Museum. The kids love it and within two visits the membership has really paid for itself. Now toddler twins don’t make it easy, but with two adults it’s always a blast. Here are some images from our last trip. Can’t wait to go again. I highly recommend it as there are very few toddler-centric activities out there.

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PostHeaderIcon Thanksgiving Prep: ready, set, go

My lists of menu ideas have been scribbled on many note pads and scraps of paper and the shopping list is being generated. Being the organized planner that I am, some elements are being prepared in advance. The way I figure it is if it freezes well, why not.

I previously mentioned this being a mostly vegetarian thanksgiving. I relented a bit by allowing my brothers to prepare a Turkey for the die hard meat eaters and I will make some salmon for my husband who is a meat eater at heart. Those two dishes aside, everything else is vegetarian and healthy (except for dessert—a must).

So, here is the menu as it stands today. I have yet to gather all my recipes.

- hummus two ways and veggies
- whole wheat pizza appetizer with gorgonzola and apples
- cranberry sauce
- tabouli salad
- roasted eggplant salad
- squash/carrot soup
- sweet potato souffle
- roasted potatoes with garlic
- apple pie
- brownies

*Did I mention everything is from scratch?!!!!

PostHeaderIcon Cooking Time: Roasted Eggplant Salad

photo 4 1024x764 Cooking Time: Roasted Eggplant Salad

One of the first recipes I will make for my vegetarian Thanksgiving is my roasted eggplant salad. This is a go to in my house on a pretty regular basis. I have several variations of it and all are delicious. The best part is, it takes literally 10 minutes to prepare other than the roasting time. Even better; it tastes so good after sitting overnight in the fridge. Give it a try, I know you’ll like it.

Ingredients

2 large eggplants

1/4 cup olive oil

Cumin

Paprika

Curry

Sea Salt

1 large lemon

3 cloves of garlic

Dill, parsley or cilantro

  • Cut your eggplants into large cubes. I’ve experimented with different sizes, but I can assure you the large cubes are the best. They keep their shape and look appealing in the end.photo 1 300x224 Cooking Time: Roasted Eggplant Salad
  • Preheat the oven (or toaster oven as in my case) to 400 degrees.
  • Place eggplant cubes into oven tray and coat with olive oil. I use the eyeball method, but I would say it works out to about a 1/4 cup.
  • Using the eyeball method or a teaspoon, put about 2 to 3 teaspoons of curry, cumin and paprika.
  • I then salt using the pinch method. About 4 pinches of the large kernal sea salt.
  • Mix everything together and pop it in the oven to roast for about an hour, stirring it around occasionally.
  • Once you remove your roasted eggplant from the oven it is already delicious, but for the next step you let it cool.
  • Squeeze one large lemon and crush three cloves of garlic into the eggplant.

photo 5 300x262 Cooking Time: Roasted Eggplant Salad

     

    • Finish off with a rough chopped dill, parsley or cilantro. I use about a 1/2 cup worth.
    • Stir and enjoy!
    Some notes: I make many variations of this as I said. Sometimes I roast the eggplant with one chopped onion and other times I add some fresh scallions in at the end. The beauty of this salad is that you can’t really mess it up. If you season the eggplant well, the finished product will be delicious. For a really fancy party dress, top it off with a dollop of sour cream and chives. 

    PostHeaderIcon Vegetarian Thanksgiving….Yeah, it can happen

    no meat 300x300 Vegetarian Thanksgiving....Yeah, it can happenI’m a vegetarian. I’m no hipster with a knitted cap and weird skinny jeans. I’ve been a vegetarian since high school, but really wanted to be one since birth. Let’s just put it this way, eating meat was torture and dinner time was hell. When my Mom gave up trying to get me to eat that piece of chicken and I realized I could create my own food destiny, I came out to my family as a vegetarian. Over the years, I’ve had to explain this to people. I’ve had to justify. Luckily, the hipsters have made it acceptable enough that I can just hang out and be a vegetarian with little to no questions. I have heard a thing or two about the diet I choose to feed my children, but that’s a story for another day (a long and annoyingly frustrating story!).

    After 11 years of living with me, my husband’s meat eating had really dwindled down to the occasional BBQ chicken and steak in a restaurant. Recently, in an effort to do some healthy living, and as a result of multiple food documentaries on Netflix, my husband has gone all out vegetarian. We eat the occasional fish, but this is rare. Good fish is both expensive and generally far from local. Cooking a balanced diet has not been an issue. That is, until I remembered that Thanksgiving is held at our house. Thanksgiving with a room full of voracious meat eaters. So, now my Thanksgiving planning begins. A mostly vegetarian Thanksgiving (My meat eating brothers will prepare a turkey).

    Unlike previous Thanksgivings, I will not ask someone to prepare a red meat dish for my picky father-in-law. I will not prepare a vat full of shrimp for everyone to attack as the turkey is being carved. And I will not concern myself over the number of heavy proteins on the table for these meat eaters. This year, I will give them all a taste of how we eat. I will let them all experience how well we eat, taste and satisfaction. There will be loosening of belts and long sighs over full bellies. There will be heavy eyelids. There will be Thanksgiving my way.

    Stay tuned.

    PostHeaderIcon Adult Slumber Party

    Every Mommy needs some adult time. My girlfriends and I have been having such a hard time getting together lately. I’m sure most of my peers can attest. Between kids, the household, family activities and work, socializing can be tough. We used to have girl weekends with dancing, eating and lots of talking and laughing. Truth be told, we are all in such different places now. I have toddlers, others have school age children, and some even teenagers. To top it off, some have separated or divorced.

    The long and short of it is that our tight knit group is no longer so tight. Much of this has to do with our lack of socializing with one another. We talked about another girl weekend but times are tough. Solution: good old slumber party. We still have to nail down the date, but we have the house (kids going to Dad for weekend) and the ideas are forming.

    An adult slumber party is just a variation of a teenage slumber. There will be cocktails and lots of snacks, plus some great mood setting games. Here are some of our ideas to get you started on your own slumber party.

    1. Themed cocktails with great names like “wild girls.”
    2. Take out dinner and gourmet snacks and sweets provided by guests.
    3. Bag of surprise skits. Create several bags filled with odds and ends. Split up into groups and provide each with a bag. Create skits (funny) using entire contents of bag.
    4. Mad libs. Cause their always fun.
    5. Party crafts such as painting a tile or pottery.
    6. Photo session. Play with make up, dress up and play photo shoot. Every tired mom wants hot pictures of herself. Plus, even grown girls love dress up!
    7. Manicures all around.
    8. Dance party with the best 80′s playlist. Bring back some of the old moves and laugh!
    9. Mud masks and secrets!
    10. Story time. Start a crazy story. Give each girl 2 minutes to continue the crazy story. Record it for a second laugh.

    PostHeaderIcon Food options

    My boys are getting temperamental during meal times. From my research I learned not to push and to try to give them a couple of options. Previously, we did this right on the height chair tray because plates ended up on the floor.

    This week we tried something new and we have success! Next step: utensils and mushy food!

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