40+ Weeks

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Here I am at 40+ weeks, no baby yet, but no surprise there. My babies just seem to gestate longer.

My Dad's birthday is on Saturday, so maybe Dos is waiting to share his or her birthday with Grandpa.

Best Banana Bread Recipe

Friday, May 20, 2011

Adapted from my Winnie the Pooh Cookbook (love this cookbook--all the recipes include honey).

2 large ripe bananas
1/4 cup Honey
3 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Sugar (I use a little less than 1/2 a cup)
2 Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda

Melt the butter. Add in sugar, honey, bananas, salt, eggs. Mix well. Add in flour, baking soda and salt. Mix again. (Walnuts and raisins are also another add-in option.)

Bake for about 45 minutes at 350.

Serve hot or toasted with butter or honey. Enjoy!

Funny

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I get a kick out of the crazy and inappropriate things people say to me about having two kids close together in age. Well, to be honest, most of the time I'm amused, other times not so much.

When people say something that really is just plain rude, I figure I have two options, one, become sorely offended or two, laugh. Usually, I laugh. Take for instance, the other day I took Hannah to the park and this woman came up to me and told me how brave I was to have two so close together and I replied, "yeah, it should be fun." 'Should be fun' seems to be my token answer, I don't know what else to say and I do think it will be fun. Then she said, "not really. It won't be fun." I just started chuckling because really lady? Thanks for that.

A lot of women respond to my "it'll be fun" comment with a snicker or a scoff, and surprisingly most of these woman are older and precisely the age that I would think would be a tad more encouraging. The women I find the most support from are those who currently have two (or more) little ones close in age and they always reassure me it's not so bad and that yes, it will be fun. I'm always so grateful for people who tell me how wonderful it will be because really, what can I do about it now? Telling me how awful it will be helps me how exactly?

Generally, I figure those women who have something negative to say about having kids like a 1-2 punch have their own issues, which most likely have nothing to do with me and my children. And it's true, having children close together in age is not going to be easy, but it certainly is not going to be awful. I'm not the first woman to do it and I certainly won't be the last. Plus, it's only TWO kids, it's not like it's 20,geesh.


My experience with having my first two children close together has further reinforced my determination that when my own children are all grown I am going to be that old granny woman who always tell pregnant ladies and families how wonderful having children/being pregnant is and how beautiful their families are. Because really, children and babies are beautiful, regardless of whether it's the first baby or the fifth baby. A baby is a miracle each and every time. The end.

Updates

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
No baby yet. I suppose I'm at that point in the pregnancy when if people don't hear from you, they assume you must be in labor, so I'm making my public announcement that there is no baby as of yet.

Although, I am starting to feel things change. It's funny with a second pregnancy, I'm trying to stay busy and not read into anything too much. The first time around with every little twinge I thought, "this is it!" I learned my lesson the hard way last time. Plus, I'm kinda sad about having to leave Hannah for a day or two. I'm going to miss my little helper.

It's raining here and it's supposed to keep raining all week, so we've stayed inside a lot lately. Although yesterday we ventured a trip to the mall. I feel like a bad mama, but we've been watching a lot of TV. But I'm kinda letting myself off the hook with that one. I'm 39 weeks pregnant and it's raining outside. Hannah can watch a few hours of Barney, it won't permanently scar her.

Perhaps it's the impending birth of my child, but I've become very introspective lately and this may sound funny, but I started allowing myself to think about what life might be like or what I want life to be like after Dos makes his or her appearance. Up until this point, I haven't let myself think about life after baby, I've been more in survival mode. So maybe soon I'll post about all my ponderings.

I'll leave you with a few pictures of Hannah in her "big sister" chair. We saw this and couldn't resist getting it for her. Only big sisters are allowed to sit in it, btw;)


Missing California

Friday, May 13, 2011

I’m really missing California today. One of my best friends from college is getting married tomorrow and I’m not going to be there and I’m feeling a little down because of it. Obviously, I have a legitimate reason for missing her nuptials, but it makes me sad nonetheless that I can’t be there. But I’ll certainly be praying for her and her husband-to-be. I am so very happy for them.

Thinking of California makes me really miss my friends, family and the food. Yes, the food. In all the places I’ve lived, nothing can compare to California cuisine. Even the little Mom n Pop type restaurants and shacks offer high quality and delicious tasting food. Plus, thanks to my friend, Kerry, for gloating about the fact that she gets to visit Fentons twice while she’s there, I’m really craving everything California. So just for the heck of it I’m going to list all my favorite little food places in the Bay Area.

Fentons: best ice cream in the world. I used to work here and I had a milkshake every time I worked, which was practically every day. Customers used to ask if I was sick of the ice cream. Umm, no.

Sweet Affair: I could eat their Turkey sandwiches every day. I miss this place, especially when I’m pregnant. Turkey, cranberry, cream cheese, cucumbers, lettuce and sprouts on cracked wheat bread. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Peet’s Coffee: Best Mochas around. There are Peet’s in Boston, but not nearby enough to go every morning.

Smart Alec’s: a Berkeley institution. Oh, there are so many good restaurants in Berkeley. But the Sesame Chicken from Smart Alec’s, yum. My sister sent me a picture of it when she was there recently because she knows how much I crave that salad.

La Mediterrane: Another hot spot for Cal students. What I wouldn’t give to have The Middle Eastern Plate for dinner tonight.

Intermezzo: while we’re thinking about Berkeley, another amazing sandwich, salad place. Famous for their humongo sandwiches.

Noah’s Bagels: they say they’re “New York bagels” but honestly, I didn’t find a better bagel when I was living in NYC.

Chow: My go-to place for meeting up with friends. An organic spinach salad with an Arnold Palmer and the bread, oh the bread.

Skipolini’s Pizza & Rocco's Pizza: Best two pizza places around, hands down.

A.G. Ferrari: Another great little sandwich shop. My favorite meal ever is a turkey sandwich, so you better believe I know where to find a quality sandwich.

Yogurt Park: how frozen yogurt should be. Pinkberry ain’t got nothin’ on YP.

I better stop because I’m starting to feel a leetle bit pathetic for missing all my food joints so much. But does anyone have any other places to add? Katie?

Thoughts on Motherhood

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Geesh, I haven't been doing a very good job at posting on a regular basis, but I wanted to thank everyone who emailed or commented about my last post, The No-Baby Boom. I'm flattered so many of you enjoyed reading the post. Thank you.

In honor of Mother's Day, I thought I'd post this video my grandmother sent me. It's too funny.


Also, I stumbled upon this blog, My Child, I Love You and am absolutely enamored with it. Her posts about motherhood are beautiful and moving and I echo her sentiments entirely.

On Mother's Day she wrote a post to her children about motherhood and I love her line, "that is why children are so good for humanity. They make us think of somebody else if we let them." I also love when she tells her children, "You were all very, very wanted and loved from the very first moments of knowing you were coming into our family. We rejoiced at each birth and thanked God for the gift of this new person. You each were kissed millions of times."

Okay, before I quote her entire post, I'll just link to it here, From Your Mother On Mother's Day.

The No-Baby Boom

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Has anyone else read this article entitled The No-Baby Boom? It was in the April edition of Details Magazine.

The article highlights the growing number couples who are purposely choosing not to have children. Their attitude towards childbearing or “breeding” (don’t you just love how derogatory that is?) is stricter than China’s. All these couples embrace a zero-child policy.

What I found fascinating about this article, apart from a worldview that is completely different than my own (i.e. children are a burden), is that many of these couples made the decision not to have children at a very young age. One husband was 23 when he had a vasectomy. Many of the couples interviewed for the article are in still in their 20’s, so I can’t help but wonder if this a decision they will come to regret in 10, 20 or 50 years. I am inclined to say it is.

Of course, convinced of the moral and environmental superiority of choosing not to have children, the reasons these couples give for making such a dramatic decision are steeped in condescension and superficiality. As the article claims, “there’s less guilt, less responsibility, more sleep, more free time, more disposable income, no awkward conversations about Teen Mom, no forced relationships with people just because your kids like their kids, no chauffeuring other people’s kids in your minivan to soccer games you find less appealing than televised chess.” Really? People are choosing not to have a child because they don’t want to have a potentially awkward conversation about an MTV reality show?

In short, people are choosing not to have children-who-turn-into-teenagers because they themselves want to remain in a perpetual state of adolescence. More sleep, less responsibility.

Another thing I noticed with many of the couples is that they make very drastic assumptions about parenthood. As one childless couple mentioned, “our next-door neighbors have kids, and the amount of yelling, stress, and competition for day care, car pools, and a school with working metal detectors hardly seems worth it. As we head out for our after-work hike, followed by yellow curry in Thai Town and then an Arctic Monkeys concert, we wave goodbye and smile, pretending not to notice their faces frozen in exhaustion.” Parenthood is described as dirty, stressful, exhaustive, and basically, no fun.

Now, I don’t know this couple’s neighbors, but I’m sure it can’t be that bad. Plus the happy-hiking couple never sees the internal workings of life with kids. They don’t see what happens in the home, just the superficial exterior. They don’t see the joy and laughter that inevitably comes with raising kids.

However, I do think this is one area where we “breeders” can improve. Right or wrong, there are a great many negative stereotypes about parenting and family life. Often the harried and chaotic lives of families unknowingly perpetuates this stereotype. This is one area those of us with children can do a better job at promoting the joy of family life, especially in public. We need to slow down, complain less and smile more.

Personally, I try to be very conscious of the preconceived notions people have about life with young children, or even, gasp, children close together in age. In an attempt to pre-empt those judgments, I try to make sure both Hannah and I look clean and presentable when we go out in public. I figure people are more likely to pick up on the positive aspects of life with littles if we look cute. It may sound superficial, but I believe it’s a small way to live an apostolate that promotes children.

Ultimately, though, I feel pity for these couples. I would think that despite all the travels and adventures and money saved or spent, eventually life would become a little dull. A life of self-indulgence and one that glorifies the “me” is an unhappy life indeed. Sure, it may be fun for a while, but all that glitters eventually fades. Plus, I have never heard a person or couple complain that they shouldn’t have had that fourth or fifth or thirteenth child, but rather wistfully looking back on life, wish they had just one more child. That is one regret I hope to never have.

You've got to be crazy to not want a house full of happy children like this.
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