On mother-daughter bonding and inexpensive Scandinavian homegoods

06/12/2012 at 3:03 pm | Posted in family | 1 Comment
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Most every time Laura, Mom and I are together, we’re busy wrangling/chasing kids, shouting over top of the chaos or shoving food into our mouth parts so that we can get back to the wrangling/chasing.

So this past Saturday was a real treat.

For Mother’s Day, Laura and I gave Mom a ladies’ lunch out. Well, as we sat at the table during brunch that morning talking about it, our little lunch turned into a road trip to IKEA. The prospect of time away together plus awesome deals on beautiful furniture and homegoods had each of us so excited that we never noticed all the men had left the table.

We made plans to hit the road early and not rush back home. A leisurely day of shopping and eating and talking, just the three of us? Too good to be true.

As for the IKEA tally, Laura hit the jackpot on a bunch of stuff for the new nursery and Olive’s big-girl room, I finally found the finishing touches for Sophie’s room (post coming soon!) and Mom amazingly spent less than $10. It was an IKEA miracle.

Not to mention free frozen yogurt, bacon-cheddar mac and cheese, and laughing til our cheeks hurt. Perfection.

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Our weekend

06/11/2012 at 5:54 pm | Posted in snap happy | 1 Comment
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Instagram collage

busy Sophie ::: walking to the grocery ::: Friday night ice cream date
Sophie’s first taste of banana split ::: getting serious with IKEA ::: fro-yo shopping break
playground monkeys ::: unintentionally pornographic gelato ::: a haircut for Lily

My cameras were extra busy this weekend.
Hope yours was lovely!
xo

Steppin' Out: deja vu

06/10/2012 at 8:56 pm | Posted in me | 3 Comments

Yep. Here it is again! The blue stripey H&M top.

(Last time. The time before that.)

It’s becoming a thing. So why break the streak, right? Let’s see how many times I can wear it this summer and get away with it.

I’m in a weird place with my closet right now. Not much fits right. For a good reason (down 30 pounds and counting). I do consider myself lucky, but it’s also incredibly frustrating. I must have gone through a dozen different outfits for tonight’s family dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in town. I actually had to DUST OFF my favorite J Crew shirt dress — the one that hasn’t fit in five years — and it was too big. Most of my skirts look silly. And my pants are a joke. Don’t even get me started on how much room there is in my bras.

I’m getting my clothes altered in small batches, and I’m planning on splurging on good bras (and a good fitting) soon.

Until then, it’s me and the stripey shirt. Tonight’s skirt, necklace and sandals are from Target. Points for diversifying my stripey-shirt outfits, right?

I love this photo because it looks like the bosomy Italian lady is pouring olive oil on my head. And Marc sure is cute.

And here’s our little family of four. The girls looked divine tonight. Lily with her pocket dress and jellies, and Sophie with her chevron stripe dress and pink bloomers peeking out. She also had on teensy ballet flats, but they didn’t last long.

We had a wonderful, loud, chaotic time celebrating two birthdays and three early Father’s Days … more photos on the way soon!

 

13 months

06/07/2012 at 1:41 pm | Posted in baby sunshine | 4 Comments
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Oh Sophie! I wish I could say to stop growing so fast, but each new day brings another trick, the beginning of a new tooth, a new sound from your mouth.

But please, stop growing so fast.

No, don’t.

Mommy is conflicted. Don’t mind me. Just keep doing what you’re doing — bringing the awesome.

You are so determined to walk, but still wobbly on your feet. Amazingly, you always fall backwards onto your tush. Smart little girl. And, hoo-boy, do you LOVE to climb. The other day, I left you alone for three seconds in the playroom, and you managed to scramble on top of sissy’s art table. Crouched there on all fours, grinning madly. You were quite proud of yourself.

You are a monkey at the park, climbing all over stuff that most two-year-olds are afraid to attempt. Fearless. Which scares and delights me equally.

You’re saying “Dada” and words that sound very much like “Lily” and “Bella.” In fact, when you see your sister from a distance, or just want to know where she’s gone off to, you holler her name. It’s so cool.

No “Mama” yet, but I can be patient.

You love pancakes, yogurt puffs and being tickled under your chin.

You hate having your diaper changed, getting dressed or any other activity in which you must keep still.

You and your sister have started holding hands in the back seat of the car. She is the center of your universe, and she loves you to no end. Her favorite thing to do is kiss your little toes. And you’re ecstatic to see her face peeking down at you in the crib after you wake.

One year and one month old today.

Ever more amazing.

New in the shop!

06/07/2012 at 9:11 am | Posted in Posy | Leave a comment
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vintage and handmade goods by Posy on Etsy

>> red, white and blue pillow cover <<
>> vintage New Orleans hand towel <<
>> vintage embossed tray <<
>> eco-friendly cloth napkins <<

We’re adding lots of lovely new things to the shop for summer. Come visit!

Eating healthy: farmers market chicken skillet

06/06/2012 at 10:19 am | Posted in mangia!, weight loss | 1 Comment
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chicken skillet recipe

Guess who bought too much basil at the farmers market?

I swear, it was just one bunch. But man. I think it multiplies while we sleep at night.

I found this recipe in my latest Food & Family magazine and gave it a shot. I’m not going to re-type it here because I’m lazy. And because the link will take you to printer-friendly versions. And because I’m lazy.

But I will tell you about the modifications I made:

>> added extra basil, because, well, we can’t eat it fast enough
>> used about half the cheese the recipe called for, and it was plenty
>> sauteed the veggies longer and added some Mrs. Dash to the skillet for extra flavor
>> used more chicken and veggies than pasta (so my plate had about a quarter-cup of pasta underneath a mountain of veggies and chicken)

With some fresh insalata caprese (tomato, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper) on the side, this dinner was light and delicious. A perfect use for all that summer produce. And basil. Oh, the basil.

The ballerina and the bug

06/05/2012 at 1:45 pm | Posted in Small Fry, snap happy | 7 Comments

Watching your child up on a stage — performing a dance routine, staring out into the audience, picking her nose, whatever — has got to be one of the most exhilarating feelings ever.

I sat through Lily’s dance recital Saturday with a huge perma-grin and tears in my eyes. I didn’t ugly-cry like last year when postpartum hormones took over, but my heart did the same sort of bursting with pride.

Our little dancer was awesome. She had been working especially hard on her bow for the end of the recital, which she nailed. She and her classmates were called the “animal crackers,” and Lily danced with a little crab figurine next to a big cardboard soup-bowl prop. They finished the routine behind the soup bowl, bouncing their menagerie of animal “crackers” along the top. They forgot most all the steps, but it was simply spectacular.

We hollered for Lily at the end, but she didn’t hear us. Next year I’ll be louder.

Here’s our little family just after the show:

And Sophie waving hello:

After a celebratory lunch with family and friends (including a very special chocolate cupcake for the little ballerina), I thought it would be nice to take some more pictures of Lily in her costume at our house. She lasted, oh, about five seconds.

Behold the meltdown:

I probably should have stopped taking her picture, but I just couldn’t do it. She was just too hilarious. The squinty smile-grimace, the dramatic plunge to the ground. I could not stop snapping. Which further pissed her off (bad mommy).

Until she found a bug. And all was right with the world again.

A real smile! Finally!

And one more family shot it would be criminal not to share because just look at Sophie’s legs:

Our weekend

06/03/2012 at 9:10 pm | Posted in snap happy | 2 Comments
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Instagram collage

happy Sophie at breakfast ::: farmers market raspberries ::: queen of the free samples
local peaches and berries over greek yogurt ::: on the way to Lily’s recital ::: dancer girl
Sophie helping me cook dinner ::: Lily and her pal Lila ::: hydrangeas from our yard

(This was the last time I blogged a farmers market outing. My, how things have changed.)

Hope your weekend was fun!

xo

Animal Dance Party!

06/01/2012 at 9:19 am | Posted in just plain fun | 2 Comments

father and daughters

Say hello to my pal Matt. He’s dad to three darling little girls, and he loves making up fun games to play with them. Games that fire their imaginations and encourage movement.

The other day, he told me about one called “How Long is a Blue Whale?” and it sounded perfect for Lily. And then I got to thinking, other parents (and grandparents, aunts and uncles, babysitters, etc.) would love this game too. Then Matt rattled off a list of other games he’s invented, and my mind started spinning.

So here we are! This is the first in a series of posts written by Matt about creative games to play with your kids.

I really think you guys are going to dig this.

———————

On a recent Saturday morning, I had to deal – in quick succession – with roaring lions, dinosaurs and bears. It was pandemonium. After a few minutes I called out, “Okay, now we’re all animals that fly!” I was suddenly surrounded by butterflies. Much less threatening.

I was playing a game called Animal Dance Party with my daughters. I came up with Animal Dance Party as a fun way to get my kids to exercise their imaginations and their bodies. Getting young kids to do anything for more than five minutes is a challenge – and it’s nearly impossible if it’s not something fun.

Animal Dance Party is pretty simple. I describe a type of animal, such as “animals that fly,” my kids take turns naming different animals that fit that description and we all imitate them. When one of my girls calls out “butterfly,” for example, everyone runs in circles and flaps their wings. Acting like a pteranodon involves running in circles and looking for fish. Running in circles, apparently, is an important part of the flying process.

To keep things moving (and other kids from pouting), I use my watch to make sure each turn is only one minute long – then it’s time for the next kid to pick an animal. Sometimes, when attention spans are particularly short, the turns will only be 30 seconds each. Before the kids can get bored with flying animals, I switch to animals that roar (lions), or stomp (elephants), or run very fast (horses). On a good day, Animal Dance Party can last for almost an hour. On a bad day, it peters out after a few minutes. Either way, it gets them moving.

My kids are pretty active, but I am constantly trying to find new ways to engage with them. I want to create games and activities that encourage them to be creative, to learn new things and (hopefully) to get some of their energy out. If I have to choose, I focus on getting their energy out (seeing which kid can jump up and down the longest is a favorite).

I want my kids to engage in active play because it makes them happy, and easier to put to bed. But I also encourage them to play because I’m a worrier. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimate that 17 percent of kids in the U.S. are obese. For kids between the ages of 6 and 11, that estimate rises to a staggering 19.6 percent – that’s one out of every five American kids.

And let’s be clear here. We’re not just talking about kids who are a little husky, we’re talking about obesity. Among other health problems, that can mean asthma and joint pain in the short-term, and type 2 diabetes and hypertension in the long-term. Nobody wants that for their children.

Not everyone has the time or money to enroll their kids in dance classes, sports teams or organized exercise activities. And, while they can be great for kids, you don’t need them. If you use your imagination, and tap into your children’s imagination, you can find a way to get your kids moving.

If you can play these games with your kids – great! If it inspires you to make up your own games, even better! Please share your experiences with us in the comments.

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