Abnormally Big Heads Require Big Hats

Bean has a big head.

No, seriously, the kid has a ginormous head. When I go for her check-ups, and the doctor runs down the growth chart with me, it goes a little something like this:

“Now, everything looks good…her weight is in the 75th percentile, her height is in the 55th percentile, but don’t be alarmed…her head circumference is in the 99th percentile, but she’s fine, really.” I assure him, every time, that I’m not worried one bit.

She gets it honest; everyone on my dad’s side of the family was cursed with abnormally large heads. They had to special order my graduation cap, if that tells you anything. Unfortunately for my children, I have passed this trait down onto them. G-Man was born via emergency c-section (for the aforementioned reason), and when they delivered him, his poor head was scraped up so bad, it looked like he had been dragged across concrete. When it came time for Bear’s birth, my newer, smarter doctor said in his best Soup Nazi voice, “NO VBAC for YOU!” Thus, Bear was born without the immediate need for antibiotic ointment.

But, I digress. We’re talking about Bean’s noggin. It’s been very cold around here, and after trying to squeeze her melon into her San Francisco hat, I admitted defeat. I knitted her up a new hat (that’s sized for a four year-old), and hopefully it will carry her through the remaining winter months.

She looks skeptical. But, at least she’ll be warm.

Chicken Tortellini Soup for a Blah January Day

The weather has been cold and wet around here, and between mopping my floors every two hours and trying to exercise with some degree of regularity, I’ve been falling behind on everything else. I’ve got a major case of the post-holiday “blahs,” and I need to snap out of it. I think a something warm is in order, don’t you?

Chicken Tortellini Soup

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  • 1 large package refrigerated three-cheese tortellini (I think it’s about 20 ounces?)
  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Preparation

1) Cook tortellini according to package directions.

2) Combine all remaining ingredients, except tortellini and parmesan cheese, in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add tortellini and continue cooking until thoroughly heated.

3) Garnish with parmesan cheese.

Missing in Action, and a Little Quiz for Ya

We are deep into the fifth circle of Hell today, otherwise known as the social studies project. At least the subject matter is interesting, I guess. G-Man has been investigating how local ghost stories have a place in passing down history. If you need me, I’ll be the crazy woman in the corner with the glue gun.

In the meantime, here’s a quiz for you (and if you are my mother-in-law, you can’t answer, because I know you already know). In what hit TV show’s opening sequence does the following house appear:

Guesses?

Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner?

Despite my vow to avoid G-Man’s social studies project like the plague, I did agree to accompany the guys to a local historic cemetery yesterday (which is quite literally crumbling) and take the pictures he needed for his project. What seemed like a boring errand turned into a fascinating little field trip. I don’t know if they were engaged by the mysterious creepy factor, or all the elaborate monuments, but the Heathens really got into exploring and reading…that is reading what was still legible. We even saw a crypt that had degraded so much, the metal coffin from the 1800s peeked through. Talk about eeking some kids out!

Despite the semi-scary atmosphere, I got 45 full minutes of kids that were reading, exploring and learning a little something about local history, rather than playing/discussing/obsessing about video games. When boredom hits this summer, I now have another outside-the-box idea to get them up, out of the house and exercising both their bodies and their little brain cells.

We’ll just avoid that whole coffin thing; there’s only so much ick-factor I can handle, and three guys sharing a bathroom already fulfills my limit.

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year! The weather may be craptastic outside, but we are enjoying a cozy day off from the post-holiday bustle. The above photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post. I just had to show of Bean’s awesomely obscene holiday bow. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

As I do every year, I spent yesterday thinking about my goals for the upcoming year, because for me, “resolution” is not necessarily a four letter word. At the top of my list is getting back to the healthy lifestyle I had pre-baby. When I got on the scale this morning, I was pleasantly surprised that I’m only about 20-25 pounds off my goal weight, and coming from the girl who dropped 60 pounds last time, that seems pretty do-able to me. However, it’s not just about the numbers on the scale, or the fact that I miss my skinny jeans desperately. Right now, I have the activity level of a sloth, and my energy level is in the toilet. Blaming Bean and sleep deprivation is easy, but if we’re being honest, my abysmal food choices and total lack of physical activity are the true culprit. I miss having the bounce in my step that comes from a halfway decent diet and a modicum of exercise. So, just like last time, I’m starting small, because drastic changes only set people up for failure. My goals for the next two weeks are to add an extra helping of veggies to my dinner plate, cut down my ridiculous diet coke consumption and add 30 minutes of activity a day, even if it’s just playing Wii Fit with the Heathens. If I can keep that up for two weeks, we’ll add another goal from there.

As for the Heathens, my husband and I drafted a new set of rules, but more importantly, defined a set of consequences. As they get older (and mouthier), we occasionally have to revamp their expectations . I’ve noticed that, over the past few months, I’ve turned into a mom who spends a whole lot of time threatening my misbehaving kids, but rarely following through with consistent punishments. Predictably, they have ceased to take me seriously as MOM (aka master and commander), and respect for my authority is absent. We had a family meeting, laid down the law and they have been put on notice. If I hadn’t already be crowned “Meanest Mom Ever,” I’m sure I will be by the end of this week.

But ya know what? I find that I’m okay with that.