Let me start off by saying I love my mother. She is a wonderful woman who does everything for everyone all the time. Growing up, she kept us all fed, clean, and healthy while juggling a very hectic family life. My mother may have been a very good chef but due to some very picky pallets, her repertoire was limited to fairly bland foods.
Until I was well into my 30s, I didn't cook much and with limited scope of flavors. It wasn't until I decided to loose weight a few years ago that I decided that my limited menu just wasn't going to cut it. For weeks, I tried all sorts of new flavors. I forced myself to eat things at which I had turned my nose up all my life. Some things, I still don't like but I did find a new appreciation for many new foods. I even began to enjoy cooking!
One thing my mother did instill in me was that I will not cook a different meal for every member of my family. I make one meal and everyone eats it. It may not be your favorite, heck you may outright dislike it but THAT'S what's for dinner. Therefore, my girls eat what KC and I eat. Sometimes it's a little spicy, sometimes it's lemony, sometimes it's savory etc. I do attempt to tone down the really strong flavors because I do want them to actually enjoy the food but it's not always bland.
I also want them to learn how to cook now so they don't need to learn in 30 years by trial and error. They are still young but even at 6, Macy is able to cut up the broccoli and since she LOVES it, she enjoys being able to say she helped make dinner. I also allow them to help measure out ingredients and pour them into bowls, stir, coat and baste things. We use the kitchen as a little laboratory to observe all kinds of cooking miracles. Boiling, melting, thickening, browning and yes,occasionally burning are all cool "experiments."
I am faaaar from a perfect parent but I hope to do this one thing well. Teaching the girls how to cook by example, even if it's only a few times a week, is a skill I hope will serve them well into adulthood. And yes, I would be doing this if I had boys. Cooking is not a girl/boy skill, it's a life skill. Everyone needs to eat and being self sufficient in the kitchen is something from which I believe everyone can benefit.
Delaney has decided she is going to have short hair. She let it grow a little for competition season but now that she's done until the fall, she wanted it GONE! So we went over to Annaliza today and got it chopped. I think it's absolutely adorable. I wish Macy would cut hers too but she is in the "long hair is pretty" phase of life and wants to grow it out. I think she looks MUCH better with shorter hair but what do I know, I'm just a mother. It's only hair and eventually she will want it cut, right? This is one of those battle I'm not willing to have. I'll save my energy for a more important fight.
I have mentioned before that we are not having much of a winter around here. It's not unusual for the red buds to start blooming and the daffodils to start to pop up in February but this is the first time I've ever seen my daffodils this large at the end of January! I will have to be diligent about watching the weather for the next several weeks to avoid them getting nipped. I also need to remember to watch my azaleas and gardenias for bloomage (Is that a word?) so I can cover them as well in case of a frost. I know, I know, My Rough Life..... Honestly though, I wish we did have a few weeks of really cold weather. It just doesn't seem right out there. I guess there is still a little sliver of a NYer in me.
Macy and KC are doing Indian Princesses through the Y Guides this year. They started a tribe made up of the girls with whom Macy went to pre-school. At Bright Horizons there was a group of 5 girls who traveled in a pack and refused to let anyone else in their little clique. We affectionately called them 'The Pre-school Mafia." We try to keep in touch with those families but as the girls are getting older it was becoming increasingly difficult so we figured this was a perfect way to ensure the girls had opportunities to see each other on a regular basis. It has the added benefit of getting the fathers involved! :)
Last night was the Y Guides Winter Outing. It was held at Dorton Area in the NC State Fairgrounds. The place was filled with inflatables, games and rides. Macy, Olivia and Lizzie were all there at the same time and had a great time together.
Back to the pic... They were playing music (some of it very bad) VERY loudly and around the music station, they had several of these air dancer things set up. When I took this pic, I was demonstrating my camera's ability to take 4 pics/sec to Lizzie's mom and was going to just delete them but once I looked at this one I thought it looked pretty cool so I cropped and played with it a little bit. You can still see the movement esp at the top but I kind of like it that way.
I mentioned rides. Here is one of the coolest. Here is a video of Macy riding the mechanical bull. She claims she did not fall off but let go because she just got tired. The operator was taking it easy on her but still, she hung on for a long time!!! Oh yeah, did I mention I took this with my 5100! ;)
I don't normally work on Fridays but I had to reschedule a patient for 11 this morning. KC watched the girls while I was gone and I told them that when I got back, I'd eat some lunch and then I had a surprise for them. The surprise was that I brought them to the pool. The Y has a bubble over it in the winter so we can swim all year. The strange thing is that hardly anyone does! It's like once summer is over, no one wants to swim anymore. We were the only family there today.
Honestly, we don't go often and I think we should make more of an effort to do so esp over track out. Regardless, the girls had a great time. While they were swimming, one of the life guards was making another lap lane and asked the girls if they wanted to help by swimming the line down to the other end of the pool. Do you know how heavy those things are? Macy was completely unable to move it through the water and it took pretty much everything Delaney had to get it there but, by God she did it! Here she is just about to the other end.
The other thing they did at the pool was belly flops. It made my stomach hurt watching it but both of them did it repeatedly without complaint. Macy asked about doing a "back flop" but I told her that would hurt so she didn't try. Here they are doing their best belly flops.
Oh and on a completely different note, I did finally get Delaney's Sand Dollar video uploaded!
Here's the link:
Delaney had her piano lesson today. She amazes me. She's been taking lessons for a year now and her progress is stunning. Mrs. Cook, her teacher is a saint! She is the perfect teacher for Delaney.
Unlike me as a child, Delaney loves to practice and tinkers with the keyboard several times a day. I wish we were in a position to get her a better one. That too must go on the list of things to get once KC has a more long term situation. Things are looking good but nothing is set in stone and if there's one thing we have learned in the start-up world it's never count your chickens before they are hatched. Not that we ever did that but the experience of the past year really drove that lesson home.
I appear to have gotten slightly off topic. I wanted to write about Mrs. Cook's Winter Olympics. Delaney will earn points for doing various things like memorizing songs or being able to say all the notes she is playing in a song while she plays it or, and this completely boggles my mind, composing a song! I can't imagine composing a song but Delaney has done one! It's short and not very complex but it's a nice little melody. I must state again that Delaney amazes me. She makes me so proud.
We arrived home today after an exciting but absolutely exhausting week at Disney. The weather in FL was gorgeous and we were expecting to have a bit of a shock reacclimatizing to the NC weather. (Yes, I am aware that it is colder in the north. It is also not as warm here as it is in FL.) However, today was a beautiful sunny day in the 60s. Since it's is still technically winter, I still have my winter decorations in my potty room and I just had to take a pic of it since it just seemed so odd to be outside in short sleeves then come in and see snowmen in my bathroom. It's just wrong somehow.
People amaze me. In case you can't read the sign, it clearly states, "Please No Stroller Parking." Yet, this unbelievably self absorbed person felt he or she was just not subject to the rules that apply to everyone else. In case you are going to defend them by saying maybe they don't speak English, along with the words is a very clear picture of a stroller with a line through it.
I truly love Disney but I am out right disgusted by the manners people display. I can't tell you how many times I had adults charge straight toward me while I was walking next to one of the girls. If everyone continued on in the same trajectory,he or she would have walked straight between the two of us. It's not like I let the girls wander all over. I keep them fairly close to me. I thought it was a universal rule that one does not separate a mother from her children. I know I go out of my way to go around a family. As a mother, I understand the uneasy feeling in the stomach when, even for the briefest of moments, there is something unfamiliar between you and your child. I know that children are below adults' line of sight but when one is in a theme park,esp. Disney, one should be scanning below adult head level for obstacles. OK, I'll step off my soapbox now so you can enjoy the rest of my pics from today, which are much happier and friendly.
At about 10:15 every night, Disney has a light parade on the water that goes around to the resorts on the lake. Here's basically what it looks like. There were a few more animals that popped up but this was the best pic. One point if you can identify all of the different animals.
I have an album for today but before I show you that, I wanted to let you know that I have uploaded the video from Friday to YouTube but it's not viewable as of my posting this entry. I will check again tomorrow and let you know the address with which to view it.
And now, on with the show: (If you hadn't already figured this out, you can see any image larger by clicking on it.)
While this was the last pic I took today, I added it as my leading pic because it has a goodish story to go with it. It is a pic of the decorative bowl in our new room. (We moved over to the Contemporary today for the last few days of our trip.) While it's not anything spectacular, it's very modern looking and, well, decorative.
Here's the story: Macy was in desperate need of a bath tonight so after the fireworks, we threw her in the tub to get the stink off. I purposely did not bother to pack her shampoo etc since I knew she'd only use it once or twice. I figured, we'd manage with our version and save on the packing. However, that meant I needed to be extra careful about not getting soap in her eyes. I looked around for something with which to pour water over her head and the only things I could find were either glass or ceramic, neither of which I thought would be a good option for the tub. KC and I looked around the room and simultaneously, our eyes fell upon this bowl. At first I thought it too was fragile but upon closer inspection, it is indeed, plastic; perfect for pouring water over a six year old's head.
What you cannot tell in this photo is the size of this sucker. It's easily 18 inches long, 15 inches wide and six inches deep. It held a LOT of water! It only took two rinses from this thing to get the shampoo out of her hair! I feel fairly confident that is the first time this bowl has ever been used as a bathing implement. Don't worry, I washed it out afterwards, not that anyone will ever eat out of it. It says specifically on the bottom, "For Decoration Only." If anyone is eating out of it, bath water will be the least of his or her worries.
Here are some other pics from the day. Don't get too used to these albums though. I'm only doing this because I'm on vacation. Once I'm home again, it'll be the regular 1-4 pics a day.
I had two other pics I was going to show you but for some strange reason, the server chokes on the "Virus Scan" part of the upload. I didn't do anything different with them than the rest of the pics it took. I used the same camera and they weren't even the first or last ones I took. I'll poke around a bit tomorrow maybe and try again. BTW, I did not have time to put the gymnastics video together today so you'll have to wait.
I'm a mother of 2 girls living in NC. I've dabbled in photography on and off but really this is just for fun