Categories: Family, Happy Things

We like to tell people that Shimri was kind of pissed about having to leave the Spirit World when she was born. She spent the first several months of her life looking at everything with a very critical eye and passing harsh judgements on just about everything. Then she started to accept her fate of mortality and warmed up to this place called earth.

And now, while she still has difficulties with large transitions and anything that upsets her routines, she’s an absolute hoot to be with. Part of it is that you can tell her mind and spirit are so much larger and older than her body would have you believe. She does things with such determination and purpose that it’s funny to watch in a little 2-year-old body.

She is careful, cautious, thoughtful, and opinionated. You always know where you stand with her and getting hugs or cuddles from her is a high honor because she won’t go to just anyone. She has an incredible memory and it is fun to see what associations she makes.

This is a girl who is going to go places in this world and heaven help anyone who tries to stand in her way. I can’t wait to see where she goes.


Serving Sizes

Categories: Food

I saw an infographic earlier this week stating that to prepare for Thanksgiving you would need a pound of turkey for each person, a half pound of potatoes, and one slice of pie.

Clearly that graphic was supported by the turkey farmers and not the pie bakers.

We get a 5 pound turkey breast, or as close to that as possible because they don’t come any smaller, and call it good for our family. I remember learning that a serving size of meat should be roughly the size of a deck of cards. I think if you were to weigh it the serving should be a quarter pound. So why would I need four times that much for each person? No wonder everyone always has so many turkey leftovers they can’t figure out what to do with.

My grandma’s rule for mashed potatoes was one per person and one for the table. But we love mashed potatoes at our house. Well, some of us do. Others gag on them, so more for the rest of us! So we do our 5 pound turkey in the slow cooker and then do roughly 5 pounds of potatoes in the pressure cooker. Mashed potatoes!!

I’m pretty sure a serving size of pie is just one slice, probably less depending on the pie. But who really eats just one slice of pie? Especially if you happen to have a variety of pies around? You have to sample them all. We actually do a cheese cake and top it with homemade cranberry sauce. But in March we celebrate Pi day and everyone eats a lot more pie than just one slice.

If I’m going to over indulge in food and be a glutton for one day, it’s going to be on pie, not turkey. Maybe we should reverse that infographic and make it a pound of pie for each person but just one slice of turkey?

My little turkeys

Categories: Life

My little turkeys won’t be little for long so I’m doing what I can to preserve as much of their littleness as possible. Thanksgiving just kind of lends itself to hand prints.

For Iddo’s first Thanksgiving in 2013 I made a table runner out of some muslin cloth and Brett and I did hand print turkeys in the middle and every year we have our kids do a hand print turkey on either side. I kind of thought it would take us longer to fill it up but we probably only have another 4 years before it’s full and I have to make another one. It’s fun to see the prints grow and become more defined (baby hand prints are very smeared despite our best efforts).

hand print turkey table runner

I’ve been making pillow covers for the throw pillows on our couch as well and this year I did a hand print fall tree. We have a right pillow and a left pillow and I love them. I finished them yesterday so I’m going to take advantage of the fact that Thanksgiving was real early this year and leave them out for a few more days before we trade them for the winter covers.

hand print fall trees pillows

And these turkeys didn’t last, but they were fun. I was inspired by the wide-eyed turkey cupcakes I saw online but went with a more “did it with kids” version and our little turkeys made some great little turkeys. And more importantly, they had fun doing it.

turkey cupcakes

from upper left going clockwise: Shimri, Shimei, Brett, me, Iddo

Princess Giggles

Categories: Life

Iddo told me I’m not a princess because I don’t wear twirly skirts all the time. But Brett still calls me Princess every night so I’m going to side with him on this one. And I still love the nickname “Miss Giggles” that my students gave me fifteen years ago when I started teaching school. (Wow! Has it really been that long?) Since I’m titling all my family posts with our nicknames this month, and I’ve been told that I need to blog about me on the 23rd, this one gets to be called Princess Giggles.

I remember hearing multiple times in multiple different places that it is the teenage and early adulthood years where we “find ourselves” and figure out who we are. I’m so glad that discovery isn’t limited to those years. I love that my life is a constant source of discovery and growth as I continue to become. How I define myself now is so incredibly different in a lot of ways from how I would’ve defined myself 15-25 years ago. There are some constants though.

I am a wife, a mom (of twins even), a daughter, a sister, a friend.

I am a computer programmer, a runner, a reader, a quilter, a knitter, a crafter.

I am a Mormon, infertile, a PhD, a teacher, an introvert, a recovering perfectionist.

I’m particular about how my laundry gets done, prefer cleaning bathrooms over cleaning the kitchen, and surprise myself with how much I like cooking on a regular basis.

I love the stars and sleeping in.

I dream of marathons, quilting machines, publishing a book.

And I love who I am.

Warehouse Stores

Categories: Family, Life

What is it about stores that sell things in bulk that also means people have to comment when you have kids in bulk? I’m in different online groups of mothers of multiples and pretty much every single one of us has a story of someone saying something weird to us when we’re shopping at Sam’s Club or Costco. Today when we went it was the woman who pretty much lost her voice upon seeing us with our four kids and could pretty much only mouth “Are they all yours?” and then respond to my happy, “yup!” by shaking, not just her head but her whole body, and mouthing “Oh my G–!”

Yes, I am sometimes amazed at the fact that we have four kids as well. Last night in particular as I put the last one down for bed it seemed a bit surreal to me but that’s probably related to the fact that there was a time we weren’t sure we’d have any. But is four kids really that many?

We actually didn’t get any comments about having twins this time around, but that one’s pretty common too. We did have someone point to Shimri and Shimei and ask what aisle he could pick some up on.

And there was the old guy doing samples that asked me how long my labor was with Izri. Which was weird. But then he said he’d been a nurse before retiring and had a woman call the hospital to say her water broke, but she was on the bus on the way to the hospital and would be there soon. His background made the question less weird.

I often watch our kids and comment that we had them purely for the entertainment value they provide. Taking them out in public just provides even more options for entertainment.

Tuesdays are long

Categories: Family, Life, With the Kiddos

Tuesday morning I wake up at least by 7:00 instead of 8:30 (depending on when Izri wants to eat before going back to sleep for a while) so I can make sure I’m not wearing pajamas when the garbage man comes. Because I have to take the three big kids out to wave at him all four times he goes down our street (two trucks, a garbage truck and a recycling truck, going down both sides of the street) and he can come as early as 7:15. Every other day of the week Brett gets the kids up so after Izri eats around 6:30 I can go back to sleep for two more hours.

Lunch starts at 11:00 rather than noon so that the kids can be sleeping by noon instead of 1:00 so that I can get them up at 1:15 instead of 3:30 so they can be in the car by 1:30 so we can be at the children’s museum by 2:00 and be there for the story and craft every week (this week’s story was 10 Fat Turkeys and we made turkey party hats). We stay for two hours and then head home so that I can feed Izri, and maybe one of these days get him to sleep so he doesn’t scream at Brett all evening, so that I can pack up all three bigger kids (Iddo on her bike and Shimri and Shimei in the double jogger) and go running before dinner.

After a 3 mile/30 minute run (Iddo usually has had me drop her off at home about halfway through) I sing in a quick shower to keep Izri, who is resting on a rug at the bathroom door, happy while Brett cooks dinner (which he wasn’t able to do while I was gone because Izri was screaming at him). Then we clean up the toys, start the bedtime routine, and I’m not even wondering why I’m tired by the time all the kids have dropped quickly to sleep.

Wednesday naps are the best we get all week.

Not where I wanted to be

Categories: Health, Life

When I started my breastfeeding journey I swore I’d never be someone who felt they needed to nurse in the bathroom. I did not want to feed my child in a place where I wouldn’t want to eat. But lately I keep finding myself where I never wanted to be.

The problem isn’t intolerant and uneducated people who think breastfeeding should be done in back rooms and closets. No. The problem is small children who want to use the bathroom but can’t do it unsupervised yet and a baby that wants to eat while they’re in there. So I sit on a stool in the doorway and nurse the baby while making sure everything is as it should be in the bathroom. Our bathroom is the only bathroom I’ll nurse in.

Actually, one of my prouder moments breastfeeding happened in the bathroom. It was 2am and Shimri was nursing and I was suddenly hit with an intense wave of nausea and knew if I stopped her so I could go to the bathroom that she’d wake up and I’d have to start the process of getting her to bed all over again and I also knew that this wasn’t merely a wave of nausea. So I got up off the bed where I was nursing her, kept her on, went to the bathroom, opened the toilet with my free hand, puked over her, getting it all in the toilet and none on her, wiped my mouth off with a wet washcloth, and went back to her bedroom where she finished and I put her to bed. THAT was a breastfeeding moment in the bathroom worth being proud about.

Just goes to show you, never say never, especially with anything regarding small children.