BG Area Mothers of Multiples

a small glimpse in our unique journey…our real-life journey

Easy “Special Occasion” Recipes February 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 12:26 pm

In keeping with the date night theme from last week, I thought I’d share one of my “special occasion” recipes…it’s easy and delicious, and it looks beautiful on a plate.  But of course you don’t have to wait for a “date night” to whip it up…my hubby and my girls and I devoured this last night, with no “special occasion” in sight.

Baked Shrimp Scampi (as written)

1 cup butter

2 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

2 lbs. medium raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

Preheat oven to 450*.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley.  When the butter melts completely, remove from heat.  Arrange shrimp in a shallow baking dish.  Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.

Here are my notes…one pound of shrimp (31-40 count) will make two very sizeable plates, or one big plate (for my hubby), an average plate (for me), and two small bowls (for each of my girls).  I use 1/4 cup butter, 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, the juice from 1/2 a lemon, 6 or 8 cloves of chopped garlic, and a sprinkle of dried parsley (just for color).  In a 8×8 glass baking dish, I put a small container of fresh sliced mushrooms, then top with the shrimp, and then the butter sauce.  Bake as directed, checking the shrimp after 12 minutes.  I like my mushrooms to have some “bite” to them…if you want them to be more tender, either slice them thinner, or sautee them for a couple of minutes before baking them. 

I serve this over wild rice, maybe with some steamed broccoli or roasted asparagus if I want to get fancy.  This goes great with French bread for sopping up the butter sauce left on the plate…trust me, you don’t want to leave any of that behind!  🙂

This is one of our very favorite meals.  It goes from start to finish in about 30 minutes, for less than $10.

Do you have any easy “special occasion” recipes to share? 

Mandy, mom to two-year old fraternal twin girls

 

February Meeting Recap, Part II: Date Night Ideas February 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 3:28 pm

In addition to the relationship tips we shared during our meeting, we also had fun talking about different date night ideas…ones you can do on a budget, right in your own backyard (or den, or kitchen, as the case may be!).

We’ve all heard the adage, “Date your spouse.”  But with limited opportunities to get out of the house just the two of you…and limited budgets…how can you do this on a regular basis?

Consider a Marriage Enrichment Fund in your budget…then see how far you can stretch $10 once a month!  It can actually be fun to try to do things on a budget…it forces you to get creative (and savings are sexy…HA!)

Date Night Inspiration

  • Throwback night…what did you do for fun before kiddos?  New Orleans was “our place”…so we might whip up some jambalaya and some bread pudding to a soundtrack of zydeco music, and look through our picture album after dinner.
  • Make S’mores and set up “camp” on the living room floor.
  • Create a picnic on the back porch, complete with a blanket and basket.
  • Game night.  Up the ante by saying the loser has to give the winner a back massage, or let him/her sleep in the following morning!
  • Turn off the TV, put on some music, and linger over a candlelit dinner (even if it’s not fancy).  Most of us don’t realize how quickly we have to eat most of our meals while we’re juggling the needs of our kiddos!
  • Breakfast in bed (for supper).  You may not be able to swing B-in-B in the mornings, but eggs and bacon and pancakes (and maybe a mimosa) taste pretty good any time of day!
  • A night at the bowling alley (courtesy of the Wii).  Put on your ugliest shirts and shoes and make some bowling alley food…nothing like loaded nachos to set the tone!
  • Rent a movie, pop some buttery popcorn, and indulge in your favorite movie candy.
  • Set up a super-duper ice cream sundae station (and don’t forget the whipped cream!).
  • Test out some aphrodisiac foods…whether they “work” or not, you can have fun trying them out!
 

February Meeting Recap, Part I: The Husband-Wife Relationship February 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 4:20 pm

We focused our February meeting on the husband-wife relationship.  Having multiple kiddos with multiple needs, it’s easy to de-prioritize our relationships with our spouses.  We talked about the importance of communication and connection. 

A local relationship counsellor provided some great information for us to share as part of our meeting, summarized as follows:

Six Key Habits for Success in Marriage

1) Give each other pleasure.  Ask yourself, “Is what I’m about to do or say going to cause my spouse pain or pleasure?”

2) Create mutually-satisfying love and friendship rituals.  Examples include greeting and good-bye rituals; daily emailing each other with a compliment; and regular date nights.

3) Create a safe place to discuss issues openly and honestly.

4) Use good communication skills to resolve hot issues.

5) Constantly turn towards each other, rather than away.  Look for ways to be physically and emotionally close.

6) Infuse your lives with shared meaning.  Share a common philosophy of life and life purpose.

Communication Tips for Couples

1) Don’t interrupt.

2) Keep an open mind.

3) Make listening a priority.

4) Use feedback technique.  Let your partner know that you heard what he said by restating in your own words.  “I hear you saying…”

5) Watch non-verbal cues.

6) Beware of blocks to listening, such as mind-reading, rehearsing, filtering, judging, daydreaming, advising, sparring, being right, and changing the subject.

7) Stay focused.

8) Be aware of gender differences in communication.

9) Show respect to your partner’s point of view, even if you disagree with what’s being said.

10) Don’t give advice unless asked for it.  You can’t listen and talk at the same time.  Feelings are neither right nor wrong.

The other part of our meeting focused on date night ideas…I’ll share those in a second blog post mid-week.

Thanks to everyone for a fun discussion!

 

WANTED: Tips for Getting Out the Door (with Multiples in Tow!) February 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 6:43 pm

I am SO thankful for the warmer weather we’re due this week…and not just because I’m craving fresh air and sunshine.

Since the girls were born, I also equate warmer weather with simplicity…fewer layers, fewer hats and scarves and gloves to wrangle, and the eventual promise of sandals without socks!

I am definitely out-and-about less often during cold weather, and I attribute a big part of that to how much has to be done to bundle the girls up, even for a quick run to the grocery store.  And by the time I get them completely dressed (fingers and toes crossed the entire time that someone doesn’t poop their pants), I am usually sweating myself.  I often skip my own coat and scarf, vowing just to walk quickly.  A little frostbite never hurt anyone, right???

With multiples, there is definitely more work that goes into getting ready for an outing, whether during cold weather or not.

I have one friend whose four-year old twin girls sleep in their school clothes in order to save time getting ready in the mornings. 

I sometimes leave the girls’ shoes in the car and just put them on when we get where we’re going.

What are your tips and tricks for getting out the door with multiples in tow?  And do you ever short-change yourself in the process?

 

Mandy, mom to two-year old fraternal twin girls

 

Games Kiddos Play… February 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 1:33 pm

We all know that two-year old toddlers have the attention span of a gnat! Gee, I’m 28 and I still have the attention span of a gnat! HA! Anyways, after all the chaos of Christmas came and went (and everything was FINALLY out of its packaging….oh that’s a whole story in itself!) it has been interesting to see what my two-year old twin girls’ favorite things have become.

The top three items that have become a big hit in our house are 1) the play kitchen (where a lot of interesting concoctions are made), 2) the Dirt Devil vacuums (oh, how I wished they really worked!), and 3) their Elefun game (wonderful but it EATS batteries!)

Some may say from the kitchen and vacuums that I’m teaching them valuable skills early…..well, I’m trying! LOL I sure hope they become more talented cooks than I am because I still have a lot to learn! I must also add that my girls are quite talented with the vacuum already! I’m seriously thinking about inventing a reasonably priced REAL working children’s vacuum! Do you think that would be against child labor laws!! HAHA!!!

Elefun….that game has provided TONS of entertainment for my girls! In case you haven’t heard of it or seen it, it’s basically a plastic elephant that has a long snout. Inside the elephant, there are several little “butterflies” (they sure don’t look like butterflies, but whatever…) that fly out of the snout when it’s turned on. The goal of the game is to use one of the four nets provided to catch as many “butterflies” as possible.

If your children are anything like my girls, watch out! They are dangerous with those nets….swinging and smacking them like mad women trying to catch those “butterflies”! After all the “butterflies” have escaped the elephant, it’s “clean up” time. We sing the clean up song while placing the “butterflies” back into the elephant. And then, REPEAT the whole process time and time again! Elefun can be found at stores such as ToysRUs or Walmart. If you are interested in purchasing, watch out for ToysRUs to run it on sale, which they often do!

As for now those three items seem to be their favorite toys! Even with a short attention span, these seem to be getting their money’s worth!

What are some of your kiddos’ favorite toys???

Danielle, mom to two-year old identical twin girls