Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer's Bounty

The bounty of summer is upon us and Vivi and I have been two little worker bees in the kitchen. Last week we picked up a few pounds of kirby cukes at our local farm which we promptly turned into pickles.

My husband and Vivi are real pickle connoisseurs and they both gave them two enthusiastic thumbs up.  The babies were also impressed.  If you want to give it a go yourself, here is the easy recipe from Real Simple.

Saturday took us to the Farmer's Market where I picked up about thirty pounds of perfectly ripe tomatoes for $10.  It was a bargain that I couldn't pass up even though I had no idea how I was going to fit all those tomatoes in the stroller. (Luckily, my husband showed up just in time to carry them the mile home.)

Vivi and I blanched and peeled the tomatoes resulting in six quart jars.  Here is just one:

Before I became.... hmmm... how should I put this....encumbered by these rascals:

I would have properly canned those tomatoes, just like someone's grandma used to do.  Alas, I had neither the time or the energy, so I just put those jars in our deep freezer.  That's when Vivi and I made an unusual discovery.

The placentas from Jude and Ellie's birth.

(Aren't you glad I didn't post a picture here?)

Now before you get all grossed out,  (is it too late?) I was not saving these things to consume later. That would be freaky and really disgusting. What happened was my midwives put them (all wrapped up in colored plastic and not visible in their bag) in the freezer until trash day.  Well, trash day has come and gone about 90 times since my Turtles were born and we have just never remembered to put them out.  (In the freezer, out of mind so to speak.)

So when Vivi and I discovered them, we decided to take a look.  We let them thaw in their plastic for the entire afternoon.  When they were ready to be uncovered, we sat in the backyard and opened them up.  It was fascinating.  Jude and Ellie's sacs were so well defined and the cords connecting the placentas to their belly buttons were completely intact.  I was amazed that not only did I grow these organs I was now holding in my hands but I also grew the two little babies that lived inside.  Needless to say, Vivi was enthralled and wanted me to explain every little bit to her.

When our inspection was done, it was time to dispose of the placentas.  I had really mixed feelings about throwing them in the big green bin since they felt like anything BUT trash. Still, I was not prepared to dig a really big hole and knew the freezer was not a suitable home for them either so in they went.  At that moment, I said a little prayer of thanks for my body, my children, and the wonderful food we grow and prepare as a family and community.  These things are the bounty that will last long after summer passes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Getting My Craft On

With Vivi at camp and the babies napping in the mornings, I've recently become reacquainted with my sewing machine.  I tend to do most of my crafting in the cooler months when night seems longer than day but lately I've gotten my hands on some fun fabric and a few neat ideas.  Plus, as I mentioned in the beginning of the year, I'm trying my hand at making as many gifts as possible.  Trying is the operative word here folks.

In the past month, I've made a chef's hat, a sundress for Vivi, a fabric party hat, my own (pathetic) version of a fabric trapper keeper (remember those?) and more than a few embellished headbands.  Of course, it did not occur to me to photograph any of these items but I'm turning over a new leaf.  Here are photos of some plain tank tops that I gussied up for Vivi's friend Charlotte's birthday party last week:

Lucky for me they only involved minimal swearing and were a total hit with Charlotte.

Currently, I am in the midst of a tutu and a baby quilt.  The tutu is simple and should be done in the next few days but the baby quilt is going to take a while.  (I only know how to quilt by hand.)  If I'm still able to type by the time I finish it, I will post some pictures.

Anyone else getting your craft on these days?

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Here I am.  It's 7:30 on Sunday morning and I am in bed typing on my new laptop.  I should be sleeping.  This is my big chance, after all.  My husband took all three of our girls to New Jersey this weekend to visit his parents and to give me a break.  It is a break that I have needed for... uh.... I dunno.... about 17 months but now that everyone is gone, I'm lonely.

Don't get me wrong.  Since they left yesterday morning, I have really enjoyed my freedom from parenting.  I got a haircut and put stacks of photos into albums.  I picked up the house and balanced my checkbook.  I didn't cook.  It's been pretty enjoyable to come and go as I please.  As day turned into darkness, however, I started to feel unsettled.

You see, as much as I desperately need a good night's sleep, I don't like to be alone at night.  I'm not scared of the dark but the house feels way too big for just me.  When I am not able to check on the girls before I go to bed, that loneliness is compounded.  My routine is upset and then I never quite bounce back.  Last night, I stayed up way too late trying to find some company through the home and garden channel on

Then at about 3 a.m. my breasts became so engorged with milk that it was impossible to sleep comfortably.  I got up at six to pump but 15 ounces later, it was impossible to get back to sleep.  So here I am.

It is all very riveting, I know.

Have you ever spent a night alone without your children?  Do you dance in the street to celebrate? Oh, and how the heck do you wean twins when one is ready and the other is not?  I don't ever want to face that breast pump again.  

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fancy Withdrawal

As much as I have avoided emphasizing my daughter's appearance, Vivi is all about being fancy.  Fancy is synonymous with being "stylish" but I can't quite figure out if my kid is fashion forward or just a walking advertisement for lack of parental supervision.

What I have come to understand is that fancy isn't about being a princess or owning lots of things.  Thank goodness for that.  To Vivi, being fancy means wearing a skirt or a dress with tights, regardless of temperature.   The more colors and patterns you have in one particular outfit, the better.  Oh, and you can never go wrong with multicolored polka dotted rain boots.  (Those are known as her "high heels.") 

So, it has been with no fair amount of grief that Vivi has been engaged in activities that require her to be "boring."  First it was gymnastics camp which required shorts and a t-shirt, then a camping trip with her Dad last week, and now it's zoo camp with a similar dress code.  My kid is going through some serious fancy withdrawal.

Fancy Vivi asleep on the naughty step

When I informed her that for she couldn't look fancy for her camping trip, she looked at me with suspicion.

Mama, is that a rule that I have to wear shorts?
Yes.  You get very dirty while camping so it is important not to ruin your fancy clothes.
For real?
In the really real world is that true?  Mama, how do you know?
It is true and I know because I used to go camping and that's what they tell you.

So when Mamas and camp counselors tell you that you must wear shorts and sneakers, what is a fancy girl like Vivi to do?

Accessorize, apparently.

Friday, August 13, 2010

One of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those days where your kids run you ragged and you just feel like you are thisclose to being hauled away to your friendly neighborhood mental hospital?

Of course you have.

Have you ever photographed that day?

Of course you haven't.  That would be crazy.

Ummm...  well, I guess the verdict is in for me.

That's right.  100% nuts.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Is Daddy the New Mommy?

It seems my little Jude Bug doesn't like me anymore.  Lately, in a rather strange turn of events, Jude seems to prefer her dad.  And by prefer I mean she cries hysterically when he leaves for work.  She refuses to let him put her down when he's home and she will not let me get her out of the crib after nap time until she is certain that Daddy isn't in the house.  Oh, and here's the kicker, she looks utterly dejected as she literally swats away my advances. 

This is the face I am greeted with:

Daddy, of course, finds this whole situation quite humorous and is delighted by Jude's intensity of feelings toward him.  There's just one little hitch...

Jude calls him Mommy.

We've been very perplexed by this whole situation.  Jude clearly knows that her father is called Daddy but if I am around, his name is Mommy.  When he walks in the door after work, she runs to him yelling, "Mom-meee!  Mom-meee!"  Hmmm...

As the whole going-to-work meltdown played out this morning, my husband had an epiphany.  It appears that this child who we both adore immeasurably seems to be feeling a bit left out.  Daddy (known to the non-bloggy world as  child psychiatrist extraordinaire) surmised that there isn't enough Mommy to go around (well, duh!) for Jude so she is having him fill the role.  She doesn't want to share. 

It makes sense, I suppose, but I am unnerved by the idea that I am not meeting the emotional needs of my child.  I understand kids go through periods of favoring one parent over the other but I've never heard of the intentional misidentifying of parents.  I just hope the whole thing gets worked out sooner rather than later. 

After all, what's Daddy going to do those useless nipples?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Show Me the Love

My girls are all about the love these days.  Jude delights in running up to Ellie, resting her head on Ellie's chest, and putting her hand on Ellie's mouth which is what Jude thinks is a kiss.  Ellie used to scream in annoyance but lately they both have been giggling at their own affection for each other.  It really is a delight to see.   

Ellie, the most reserved of all my girls, has been doling out her own kisses lately.  While nursing, she will occasionally pull herself off the breast to look up at me and hum.  That's her sign that she wants to give me a kiss.  (Maybe she is sensing my increased discomfort with nursing and is trying to entice me to keep at it a little longer.)  At five this morning, while nursing both of them in my bed, Ellie finished and pulled herself off, crawled across my chest over to Jude, and gave her one big, wet, milky kiss.  This lead to lots of sleepy giggles and whatever hope I had of getting them back to bed evaporated at that moment but it was nice to see them interacting so lovingly.

Even Vivi, who has had more than her share of disdain for everyone in this house, has been extra affectionate.  The other day she said, "Mama, do you know that you grew two adorable babies in your belly?"  When I told her that I actually grew three adorable babies but one of those babies is already four years old, she said, "Mama, I will love you forever and ever.  Even after I die, I will never stop loving you."

Well, gosh.  I can't imagine any thing being better than that.