Thursday, September 22, 2011


Pre-Script: To my vegetarian friends/readers, please take no offense.

I have this sinking feeling that I'm mere steps from vegetarianism. And it worries me a bit. Because, if we're being honest, no one likes a vegetarian except maybe another vegetarian.

So what's this about? As it is, I hardly eat any meat, but I've always reserved the right to have turkey on Thanksgiving (or on a sandwich if it's Boar's Head) and to eat chicken. But just recently even thinking about chicken makes my stomach churn.

No, I am not pregnant. So how can I explain this sudden aversion? I could blame it on re-watching Food, Inc. and feeling mildly ill all over again. Maybe it's the fault of the chicken I cooked recently that just seemed a little less-than-stellar. Maybe it's that weird sensation I get sometimes when I think of chicken and my tongue feels little furry. (And, no, there is absolutely no way to get around the gross and completely random factors of that confession.)

Any way you shake it out, I can't shake this sinking feeling that my chicken-eating days are numbered. Did you see that sentence right there? It sort of made me gag. Add that to the list of reasons why I just might be done with chicken for good.

I tease about no one liking vegetarians (HI, vegetarian friends! I really do love you!), but I am not kidding about the internal conflict created by the idea of a meatless lifestyle. And it's not just a matter of eating meat being more convenient in general. It's all of the implications that come with being 'vegetarian'. Like, am I going to be a 'bad' vegetarian if I don't think to ask if that French Onion Soup has beef stock in it? Or what if I can't resist the turkey on Thanksgiving?

And how in the world will I explain this to my kids? In particular, what kind of impact would being a vegetarian have on Luca, who of late has become very tuned into how I already eat differently than she does? As it is, she notices when I don't have sausage or bacon with breakfast and almost wants to test me about it, aggressively offering me bites of meat off her fork and incessantly questioning my reasons for saying no. So far I've managed to slip by with a 'I have plenty to eat on MY plate. YOU need to eat your own food.' but for how long will that work? I know this seems like a weird conflict to have, but getting her to eat a variety of healthy foods has always been an issue, and if she sees me consistently passing on meat I worry she'll decide to do the same. And, even though this might rile the vegetarians I know, I don't necessarily believe in letting a kid her age (4) become a vegetarian when it's not a choice she's really able to carefully weigh from all angles and make an informed decision about.

Future meat-shunning hippie?

I admit I am being sort of tongue-in-cheek about some of my concerns, and I also realize that much like not having to buy into the belief that I have to label my parenting style (have you SEEN the mommy wars and the women who worry over whether a decision they make about parenting is or is not in line with their self-proclaimed 'style' of parenting, rather than just doing what feels right to them?) I also don't have to label how I eat. I CAN just decide not to eat meat today because the thought of it is grossing me out, but decide TO eat it next week. But I do have some genuine parenting concerns about my impressionable, picky-eating, somewhat eager to be like mommy 4 year old and whether my choice to not eat meat might impact her choices.

SO I am turning to my readership to ask you mommies out there (or non-mommies who just want to chime in) what YOU think about this whole issue. If you're a vegetarian or other-special-diet family, and your kids are on the same eating plan, how's that working out for you? Do you have concerns about the impact to their health, social life, etc. in the long-term? If you're a mixed-status household (like my family where I eat almost no meat, but the hubby and kids love them a good steak) how do you feel about the issue? And for everyone, at what age do you think a child should be given full disclosure about their parents' eating habits and full decision-making power on their own (specifically in terms of meat vs no meat type issues, not in terms of 'please just feed me popsicles and blueberries' issues)?

Thanks for any feedback!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hearts (2.14.11)

In the few hours I had home alone with the kids on Valentine's Day, we cut out some paper hearts and took turns painting. Rohan hasn't had much experience painting, so it ended up smeared on the tray and his face more than on the paper, but I love how his look (above, his are the 5 on the left). Luca made a goal of covering all paper with some paint, and though she started out in an orderly way, by the end her paint was a muddled olive green. These hang in our dining room right now.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Buddies (2.1.11)

I finally felt up to opening my box of candies that my sweet husband brought home for my birthday, and of course these two wanted one. I went to put the box away, and came back to see this. These pictures are far from perfect, but I love them. I love seeing these two together, her neatly nibbling her chocolate and making one piece last what seems like hours and him smearing the whole thing all over his hands and cheeks as he eagerly downs it in two bites. Buddies.

Birthday/Sickday (1.28.11)

Birthday Plans: Take day off. Have breakfast with friends. Drop kids off (her at preschool, him with Grandma). Get a massage. Shop, drink coffee, read book. Pick kids up. Take nap together, all cuddled into King Size bed. Dinner out. Cake. Wine.

Breakfast Reality: Sick 3 year old the day before, so they both stayed home with me since she wasn't cleared to go back to school and he might be carrying her plague and I didn't want to expose my niece, who goes to Grandma's on Fridays, to said plague. Lazy morning at home. Shopping and lunch with my mom. Home for naps. Belly hurting. Kids awake, dog about to puke in house, run to let her out, lose my own lunch. Proceed to thrash about on the couch, moaning and clutching my stomach, getting up occasionally to throw up more. Call husband to come help me. Send husband and kids out to dinner so I can be miserable alone. Can't muster up ability to drink chocolate shake husband brought home for me. Accept sand cake with stick candle from Luca in lieu of chocolate cake. Fall asleep on couch.

The only saving graces were these two sweet kids. Every time I got sick, he was there patting my leg saying, "Oh! Ok, mama? Ok? Ok. Ok, mama. Awww." And she was there to help me prop up with pillows. I was glad, in the end, that they were home with me keeping me company with those honey sweet cheeks.

(Speaking of cheeks: his are super patchy. It's a winter thing, I think, though my mom thinks it's eczema and friends have suggested perhaps it's a food sensitivity. Either way, I feel bad for his sweet plum cheeks.)

The picture of the back of Mo's head, as he cuddles his Puppy and Bear melts me. HE melts me.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

CubbyCakes (1.26.11)

Luca is Cubby of the Week which, among other kinds of awesomeness, means she gets to choose the movie and snack for Wednesday afternoon. She picked out these cupcakes (cherry chip) and the toppings. I made them last night, and this morning we frosted and decorated them. It was pure torture for her to pose with one for me when I wouldn't even let her eat it, but lucky for her she 'accidentally' got a little frosting on her finger.

Pink cupcakes with pink frosting, pink pearl sprinkles, and candy hearts? What else would I expect from my sweet as sugar girl?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cuddle Puddle (1.24.11)

We had a serious case of the Mondays here today, which meant both kids were piled onto the couch with sippy cups of milk, blankets, and a puppy while we got ready for work.