Week in Review – 1/8 to 1/14

This was our first full week back in the routine since Christmas hols…and as wonderful as having time off is, I was so relieved to be back in routine. Grocery shopping, meal planning, making lunches help me stay on track with eating. I made a couple of new recipes, pasta e ceci and Spanish chickpeas with spinach.

Must have been the week of chickpeas around here. I’m finding with the WW Freestyle plan that I’m eating a lot more beans and lentils, but feeling a lot more full and satisfied.

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It’s not the most photogenic of foods, but I made ful mesdames for breakfast, and to reheat for work breakfasts through the week. It’s a traditional Egyptian street food, and became one of my favorite savory breakfasts when I lived in Saudi Arabia. It’s basically just fava beans, garlic, cumin, and tahini. On WW Freestyle, this serving is only 2 SP because the egg and fat free Greek yogurt are zero!

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What are the girls eating? Sometimes, they devour a bowl of poke for lunch. Other days I think they are simply fueled by sunshine and butterfly tears. I try to focus on how much over a week versus per day.

Even though spring feels ages away in the midst of these dark wet January days, I’m starting to plan ahead for my vegetable garden. I’m enjoying perusing the colorful seed catalogs and making charts and spreadsheets of my garden layouts, and Matt has been clearing the back forty. And by back forty, I mean the front flower beds.

We have started potty training Daphne, so there’s that. It’s a bit more challenging than potty training Miriam simply because I’m a lazier and a more distracted mom this time around. Poor second kid. She does great at home with no pants on, but as soon as we put a Pull-up or panties on her, she kind of loses the motivation. Plus, she is the oldest in her daycare class, so only a couple of her little friends even try to sit on the potties at school. Miriam was one of the younger kids in her class at that age, so she was motivated by watching most of her little friends learn to use the potty at the same time. She’ll get there eventually I guess. She won’t wear diapers to college.

We did our first kindergarten tour this week, so that was weird. Miriam will go to our neighborhood public school, but I wanted to tour another closer school that happens to be closer to our just in case I wanted try to get into that one instead. I can already tell that dealing with SPS and *other parents* is not going to be a fun ride for this introvert misanthropist, so I’m working really hard on just putting on a calm happy face and i”m going to fake it ’til I make it. New mantra for 2018: Choose happy.

I’m six books in to my 50-book Goodreads challenge for the year! I always have an audiobook for the car and Kindle ebook going, and I have to admit I’m having more fun researching and making my reading lists based on the other challenges I’m considering. I love seeing what other people are reading. It seems to be much better for my overall state of mind and mental health to be spending my free time reading rather than scrolling through random annoying Facebook groups. Go figure.

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Goals for 2018

We ended 2017 lounging in the hot pools of Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia, while snowflakes fell on our heads and the girls ate “shave ice” snowballs. It was surreal and the girls had so much fun, they would have stayed in the water all day until they were one big prune. We are also grateful that we made it home from BC in a small window between the snow storm and the ice storm.

I am not one for resolutions but I’ve been thinking about some goals for the next year, so since it coincides with the New Year, this seems an apropos time to write them down for posterity and accountability!

  1. Read more books.  I’ve had a really hard time selecting, reading, and completing books since the girls came along. Blame exhaustion, short attention span, keeping little humans alive, etc. But I used to read constantly and I really miss it, and I realized I can make a conscious effort to make time to read. In the past few weeks I’ve read and listened to a few audiobooks that I loved and I’m inspired to keep finding new books and authors to enjoy. I’m going to do this reading challenge with a friend and track my progress on Goodreads.
  2. Reduce grocery bills and food waste. Our pantry and freezers always seem to be overflowing but I am always doing huge weekly grocery shops. Sometimes I buy things I already have. It’s a problem. Right now, I’m trying to inventory the shelves and the freezer and use as much up as I can. I don’t have any concrete ideas as to how to reduce food waste (anyone know how to convince a couple of preschoolers to eat leftovers? Or anything at all, really?) but I’m hoping to just be more cognizant of this issue.
  3. Raise chickens! This might be the goal I’m most excited about. In my dreams, I’m going to move to the country, live on a few acres, and raise Shetland sheep for fiber and wool. There will also be a few Nigerian Dwarf goats for milk and some ponies for the girls. But, for now, I live in a city with a small yard. I’ll start my micro farming adventures with a few bantam hens and a chicken coop. The chicks are due to arrive in April, the girls are going to love them! Matt’s going to build the coop and he’s already planning how to rat-proof it as a personal challenge. I can’t wait to eat our own fresh eggs.
  4. Grow vegetables. Eat local. This is also part of my new micro farm. I’ve got a hankering to build some raised beds and grow veggies. We have an ideal location in front of our house, facing west, that gets direct sun all day. I’m a bit overwhelmed by the planning that will need to go into this, as I’ve never grown a thing in my life before.
  5. Become a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers. This entails getting to my goal weight and maintaining it for six weeks, then with monthly check-ins. I’ve been doing WW since last March and have lost about 30 pounds, I have about 15 more to go to my goal. I’m not setting a time limit on this goal because I’m trying to see this more as a lifestyle change, eating healthier and changing my habits for the long term.

I’m going to try to keep checking in here to update my goal progress, and hopefully those updates will include cute pictures of fluffy chicks and kids eating veggies they picked themselves.

2017 – Year in Review

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These are my monkeys, this is my circus. The year somehow flew by, the kids grew in leaps and bounds, yet there were some afternoons and middle-of-the-nights that stretched on endlessly. That’s what they say though, “The days are long, the years are short.”

Miriam is learned to write her alphabet, her name, and all of her friends’ names, is studying cursive, and is on the verge of reading. She is constantly drawing pictures, making art, and “writing” books. Daphne only had a handful of words this time last year, and now prattles on in complete sentences to tell us about her days. She cracks jokes and loves playing with her sister. She took an airplane trip for the first time and still talks about it. They both have so much more hair! House of Baldies no more.

We went to Seabrook, Bellingham, Hawaii, and will be in Canada before the year is out. Matt traveled to many more but less interesting places for work. I went to Silver Cloud for a night and it was the best sleep I’ve had in over four years. We said goodbye to Greta the Jetta and welcomed Wanda the Honda into our lives. We’re both still employed and we kept these monkeys plus a wiener dog alive for the whole year so I can’t think of any greater accomplishment.

I love vaccines

It isn’t officially fall until we’ve gotten our flu shots. I got mine at work last week, and this morning I took the girls to our provider’s office to get theirs. Daphne handled it like a champ, and though Mimi was psyched up, she lost it when she realized it was going to be in her arm. It was her first shot in her arm, I was a bit surprised myself. But, she recovered immediately upon seeing the toy prize bin.

Things they say

Just a few musings to record things the girls are saying these days:

We’ve been watching The Wizard of Oz lately, and by talking about the good witch and the bad witch, discovered that Daphne says witch with a B instead of a W. It’s too cute, do I really have to correct her?

Daddy is out of town for a few days and Mimi is very worried about who is going to do the dishes and clean the kitchen while he’s gone. Can’t decide if this is an overall win or fail on my part…

Twice today while talking to me, Mimi has paused and said “Do we need to have this conversation again?”

Letters to Miriam: Eighteen months old

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Dear Miriam,

You’re one and a half years old now, and half-birthdays are pretty special for the first couple of decades of your life. I was unprepared for the abrupt transition from baby to toddler around 12 months old….but you had other plans. You turned one, started walking, and a few months later started talking. And definitely haven’t slowed down! You have dozens of words now: naming animals, foods, your family, things you want to do (“Up, walk, down, jump, ride”). You’ve just started putting words together to make mini sentences, like “Mimi walk,” “Big step,” “Blue duck.” You’re constantly babbling, whether we understand you or not, either to us or Elmo or your baby doll.

Your own personality is definitely emerging. You know exactly what you want, and are very persistent. You are independent, and must do everything you can by yourself: “Mimi do!” But with that, you are confident enough to try new things by yourself, too, and will still ask for help when, and only when, you need it. You love figuring out puzzles and new tasks. I hope that self-confidence and independence stays with you, despite the frustrations it can cause the mother of a toddler 😉

You love daycare, your dad and I can barely keep up with what you’re learning there. Suddenly you know your colors, can point out a few letters, and will ask for “aqua” or to wash your “manos.” I’m so happy that you’re thriving and happy there, and it’s often a relief to let you go and wear yourself out playing there since some days you are hard to keep up with!

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Happy Halloween

…from this silly little ladybird. Or ladybug, if you insist on speaking Americanese.

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Yep, that’s a ladybird wheely toy she’s on too. You can even see a bit of her ladybird raincoat in the background. We like themes around here. Miri had an exciting day “trick-or-treating” at my work today. She got the hang of grabbing candy out of buckets pretty fast, and although she didn’t get to eat any she sure did enjoy squashing wrapped chocolate bars in her sticky little palms. After the “treating,” her “tricks” included running up and down the hallways as fast as she could then flinging herself onto the floor, protester-style, when I tried to grab her.

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