A Really (But Not Really) BIG Deal

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To many, this will not seem like a huge accomplishment, but to me it is. My youngest, little Gracie ate the following for lunch: steamed broccoli, 2/3 of a banana, a half a cup of apple yogurt, and a kiwi. The best part is, she ate all of it on her own, from her tray with her own fingers. I tried a different tactic with her than I did with my boys who will eat hardly anything. I basically throw anything and everything (within reason) at her to try. She is young enough that she is accepting of most of it and actually enjoys different flavors and textures. I don’t give her highly allergenic food yet. She is only eleven months old. But she loves almost everything she has tried.

I remember with the boys, I was almost afraid to introduce them to new foods and textures that they would gag or not like them. I still feel apprehension at times with Grace when I am about to chop up a new fruit or vegetable for her to try, but I swallow my fear and with cellphone in hand (in case of an allergic reaction) I spread the food around her tray and she willingly eats it up!

The boys are still a work in progress. They have ventured into a few new-ish food items. Noah does eat kiwi now and both boys are enjoying a wider variety of fruits. Vegetables are still non-existent except in smoothie form for Luke. But he did eat a scrambled egg and toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner yesterday.

Anyway, that’s my exciting update. ONE OF MY CHILDREN WILL EAT ANYTHING!

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Here is one of my favorite pictures from Easter. It’s obviously far from perfect but it shows the kids’ personalities so well.

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Reflecting True Beauty to Our Daughters

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Ok moms of daughters, I have a major complaint. When did we get to be so judgmental about our daughters’ looks? This is probably going to be a bit of a diatribe, but please hear me out.

I know women who put hats on their infant daughters until they have hair because they hate how their baby girls look bald in pictures; never mind the fact that they are babies and MOST babies have little to no hair. There are moms who put down their daughters about their weight to other people. I recently met a mom who was tearing apart her daughter for putting on too much weight while being pregnant! What?? Your courageous daughter is carrying a child! A HUMAN BEING is growing in her uterus! She is a SUPER HERO! Besides, did she somehow miss the fate of putting on some weight while she was pregnant with her own daughter? I doubt it! Everyone gains weight beyond that baby when having a baby. I know my thighs, arms, butt, hmm… just about everything got fatter. There’s not much you can do. Pregnancy, child birth and death are the ultimate equalizers. There isn’t very much glamorous about any of it.

I overheard a mom the at a restaurant telling another woman how her own daughter wasn’t very pretty and it is too bad she isn’t smarter. Who does that?! Ladies, I know no one is perfect, and while it’s obnoxious to brag about your kid, at least have the decency to say nothing at all rather than to express how average and unintelligent your child is. Surely little Suzy has some great qualities that would be worth sharing. Maybe she’s a fantastic painter or a superb speller. I mean focus on the good, not her shortcomings. You make her out to be the best speller on the planet if that’s all she’s got!

How did we come to this? When did we start putting so much value into physical appearance? This is why we have so many women battling eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem or running to have nose jobs and boob jobs at eighteen years old. The women our daughters look to most for guidance and self-worth are their moms. If your own mom doesn’t see the beauty in you or is critical of you, isn’t it hard to believe in yourself?

So Moms, KNOCK IT OFF! Isn’t it exhausting to have to put on this show of perfection constantly? And you’re passing this on to your kids! Don’t make your daughter feel as if her fate is riding on having a perfect body or a beautiful face. Praise your daughter daily for her wonderful attributes beyond physical appearance even if she isn’t a Helen of Troy. I am appalled and embarrassed for women when I hear them comparing their girls to others.  

Oh and one more bit of advice, and I am horribly guilty of this one: Let’s all stop ripping ourselves apart. Because in truth, this is where this garbage begins. You can be humble without being self-deprecating. Show our future women of the world that it’s good to be proud of who we are. We can acknowledge our imperfections without letting them define us.

As far as my physical appearance is concerned, I have some age spots, gray hair and a short torso. Consequently, I will never be a model. But that’s okay because models can’t eat whatever they want. I can and I do! I LOVE chocolate chip cookies and pizza. I want my daughter to know that there is more to life than to feel the need to look perfect all the time. I want her to be silly. I want her to be able to laugh at herself and to enjoy life. I want her to believe in who she is, whomever that may be. If I ever start telling someone that I think Gracie needs to lose a few pounds or that she isn’t all that pretty, I hope lightning strikes me down. She could have a goiter, an extra limb or terrible dandruff and I will make sure she knows just how beautiful she is for reasons beyond her physical appearance because true beauty isn’t a pretty face or a skinny body. It’s the things that make us all different. It’s what is in our minds. It’s our individual strengths that we will contribute to make this world somehow better.

I am bored with the culture of pouty-lipped, heavily made-up, pushed-up cleavage, selfie-snapping women making sure that you know just how hot they are at this exact angle with some contrived lighting. Let’s show our daughters what real women look like and that real beauty is in our strength, our patience, our courage, our intelligence, our generosity and our ability to love.