Friday, April 3, 2015

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Like many children this time of year, Delilah has been looking forward to Easter with gusto. "Will you help me find all the eggs mama?" "I CAN'T WAIT FOR CANDY!" "Will there be an Easter day parade?"
The first order of business every morning lately has been checking the calendar to see if it is April 5th yet. She's excited to find hidden eggs, excited for a nice family meal, excited to spend a night at Grandma Bev's since she doesn't have school on Monday. 
So she asked if she could stay up to see the Easter Bunny come tomorrow night. And she straight up lost it when I suggested that the bunny might not come if she was awake.


Clinging to me. Sobbing. Streams of tears.

I looked at my husband in desperation.

"I'm not sure what this right here has to do with the magic of imagination." 

I've had a "just go with it" policy when it comes to imaginary figures like the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. I've just let her come to her own conclusions based on what she hears about such characters, and have avoided confirming or denying their existence. I've always said that if my children believe, that's fine, but if they come right out and ask me if these characters are real, I will tell them the truth.

As it appeared, she believes. As it appeared, this belief was leading to more anxiety and upset than magic and fun. 

So my husband and I sat her down together. We explained that what we celebrate at Easter is the fertility of the earth and the new life that Spring brings. We explained that the Easter bunny is a fun story and that lots of parents hide eggs or put things in baskets to make the story even more fun, and that it's up to her if she wants to believe the story or not. 

I was pretty nervous about how this would go down. I wasn't sure we were doing the right thing. 

The more we talked, the more we explained, the more calm she became. The truth was a lot easier for her to understand and handle than "the bunny won't come if you're awake." We assured her that there will be baskets and eggs. We showed her a picture of her father dressed up as the Easter bunny from way back when. She asked if she could watch a video about the Easter bunny, and she did so, happily. She's now looking dreamily out the window and singing a song she made up about the Easter bunny coming to town. 

Delilah's Dad as the Easter Bunny in the late 90s

Maybe we stole some of the magic and ruined some of the fun, but maintaining it did not seem worth her utter despair.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Postpartum Body Love

Recently, I participated in a "Tummy Tuesday" theme in a Facebook group focused on debunking diet myths and fostering love for the bodies we're in. I was hesitant to start snapping photos of my least-loved body part, but in the interest of practicing what I preach, I did it anyway.

I was sure that I was going to hate the results, but an amazing thing happened.

I saw the photo and thought...that's kind of a beautiful belly, actually.

And I fell in love with my belly, stretchmarks, saggy bits, muffin top, and all, for the first time in my life.

I felt comfortable and even enthusiastic sharing this photo in the privacy and safety of the group, where I knew it would be celebrated and well-received.

Still, I felt insecure to share it more publicly, because I know that largely, society tells me that I should not be proud of my belly. Society largely believes I should be ashamed of it. That I should keep it covered up. That "Ew, no one wants to see that."

I was afraid of being told that the photo was disgusting or a poor example of a healthy lifestyle or not acceptable to the male gaze or a whole host of other junk that I profess to spit in the face of.

Then, today, a friend said something that changed that.

The gorgeous Zee had the opportunity to participate in the 4th Trimester Bodies project. (Take a second to go look at her photo. It's breathtaking. It might make your eyeballs sweaty.) In sharing her photo in the very group that I so reluctantly shared mine in not long ago, she said:

It was a great feeling standing there with my children, showing them mama is proud of her body, a body they helped mold.-Zee Martin-Mendia 

And that's when it hit me:

And then I got brave. And here we are. 

All bodies are good bodies. All bodies deserve to be fed a variety of nutritious foods. All bodies deserve to indulge in treats they enjoy. All bodies deserve to be moved in ways that feel good.

When I hated my body, I didn't take care of it. The more I learn to love it, the better care of it I take. It responds by getting stronger and more flexible. It responds by letting go of some of its fat and making me more mobile and allowing me to fit more comfortable not only in my clothes, but in my own skin.

Love your body. I promise it will love you back. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mason Jar Salad with Dried Cranberry, Walnuts, and Feta

We all know I love salads in jars for their ease and convenience. Here's another delicious combo I'm enjoying that is compatible with 21 Day Fix. If you're doing the fix, note that this salad contains 2 Blue Containers, so you can either leave out one of those ingredients or skip a blue container on another day. It all evens out, so eat up and enjoy!

Layer your salad from the bottom up:

  • 1 Red Container (3/4 cup) cubed cooked Quorn cutlet, Tofu, or Chicken Breast
  • 8 walnut halves, chopped (counts as a blue container)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries (counts as a yellow container, measure with orange container)
  • 1/2 Green container (about 2/3 cup) grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Green Containers (about 2 cups) mixed spring greens (or spinach, or kale, or whatever greens you like!)
Keep separate from jar:
Store in the fridge until ready to eat, then dump the jar in a bowl, add your feta and dressing, and enjoy!

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