A family of six and their fearless journey through life, love and the pursuit of all things yummy

When Privacy and Dignity Go Out the Window April 28, 2012

Filed under: The Twins — Brandi @ 1:43 am
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We’ve all heard those comedians do stand-up under the guise of, “You know you’re a BEEP when…” and they would fill in the beep with a  myriad of nouns. I became acutely aware today that I was a mother. That’s my beep – I’m a mother.

I stay at home with my three and a half-year old twins and there is truly never a dull moment. I realized I was a mother of twins when while trying to use the bathroom, I became over run by the girls with a tube of lip gloss in hand, demanding that I “put on sassy lips”. I just let out a sigh as I applied the goopy Wet ‘N Wild to puckered up faces. Sometimes it’s just easier to feed the frenzy before it eats you alive.

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I knew I was a mother of twins when at the grocery store, both girls were having a meltdown in the cart because we weren’t sticking around to ogle at the lobsters in the tank. I tried to pull away from the tank when one of the girls grabbed the display rack next to the tank and began dragging it with her. I was stopped by a crusty octogenarian in a furry hat and house dress. She leaned in to the girls, put a finger to her lips and shushed them. For a split second, I almost forgot how angry I was at the girls for making me look like a bad mother and geared up to bust up some old lady!

But for all the meltdowns, fights, tears and temper tantrums, I get the same amount of experiences from the other end of the spectrum.

I knew I was a mother when after cleaning up the kitchen from breakfast, Alberta came to me and said, “You clean Mommy?” I told her I was and she followed it up with, “Good job Mommy.”

I knew I was a mother when tucking them in after a really brutal day, and Beatrice put her hand on my face, rubbed it gently and said, “You soft. I love you.” I love being soft and loved.

There are so many moments throughout the day that I look at them and think, “Who are you little devils?” and not 30 seconds later, I’m being cuddled, adored and consoled by the perpetrators. There will never be another experience in life that can bring you such suffering and such unbridled joy as being a parent. And just when I’m a hair’s breath away from losing it, I think of the movie “Ice Age” and the poignant words from Sid the Sloth; “You’re in our herd now. Dignity has nothing to do with it.” And I’m okay with that.


Fear #2: Quitting Smoking April 22, 2012

Filed under: Fear Factor — Brandi @ 6:38 pm
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I had been a smoker for more than 12 years and the thought of quitting almost sent me into a panic attack. My chest would feel tight and I started sweating like some poor menopausal sap. I was so overcome by a fear of quitting. People who have never smoked don’t understand this fear because it is so different than others. It’s the most intangible fear on the planet. How does a person become afraid to STOP doing something?

My logic was simple: I would get fat, I’d eat my own children because of no outlet for stress….on, and on, and on. But as I said in a previous post, I had a paradigm shift this year and in January, I felt another shift coming on. It was time to let go of my greatest fear and my good, dear friend – cigarettes.

How did I do it? On January 20th, I up and stopped. No gum, no patch, no acupuncture, kick boxing, or booze. What I had convinced myself was the impossible, it became abundantly clear that I was going to survive and so were my husband and children. No one was eaten, the house didn’t burst into flames and I didn’t gain twenty pounds. Was it difficult? Yes. Did I experience withdrawal symptoms? Abso-flippin-lutely. I would get on the phone with my best pal, Quan, and try and have him talk me down from the ledge. The two of us would end up giggling our guts out at how completely wacky I was sounding on the phone. It was almost to the point of hallucinations. I sounded like one of those people in movies that are in some kind of hostage situation and they know they’re going to die, so they start that mad giggling/crying external chatter. That was me, but I still had to be a mother, wife and friend. I had no choice. Push through, or roll over and die. Dying is never an option.

I made it through, starting running like a woman possessed and I feel amazing. I feel transfigured. And most of all, I feel empowered and that I will never let anything or anyone have that kind of hold on me. Do I still have cravings? Every once in a while, but when I do, I don’t fight them, I embrace those feelings as a part of what makes me, me! I will always be a smoker, but I will never again be a slave to cigarettes. Grab on to life and hang on – it’s bumpy, but what a thrill! Fear #2? CHECK!!

If you need help or support to quit smoking. Contact me and get connected with others who feel your pain. Share your journey so you won’t feel so alone.


Fear #1: Running – UPDATE…in need of new music! April 20, 2012

Filed under: Fear Factor — Brandi @ 12:32 pm
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Help! I’m in desperate need of some new running tunes. I have a mixed bag of Black Eyed Peas, Foo Fighters, Beyonce, Neon Trees, Phoenix….But I need some new upbeat running grooves to keep me going. I got down to a 10:19 mile today! Yahooo! Let me know what songs you’ve been using to keep you going on your runs.


Oh My Godda – It’s Your Own Ricotta! April 19, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 4:26 pm
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Here are simple instructions for making your own ricotta.  I started checking the ingredients on the ricotta I was buying and discovered that they all contain xanthum gum or guar gum. Yipes! It’s easy and SO delicious. Give it a shot and let me know how yours turns out!

1/2 gallon whole milk

1 tsp. citric acid OR 1-2 T. of white vinegar

Salt (if desired)

Put your milk into a stainless steel pot. Add your citric acid or vinegar.

Turn your burner onto medium to medium high and slowly stir your milk until it reaches 195 degrees.ImageImage

Once it reaches that temp, take it off the heat and put a lid on it. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. This allows the curds to separate from the whey. Line a strainer with a lot of cheese cloth (I use clean, cheap, throw-away clothes!) and ladle your curds and whey into the cloth.


Let it strain for about a half an hour to an hour, depending on how moist or “dry” you want your cheese. This makes about 3/4 c. of ricotta. NOTE – If you don’t have enough curds, you can simply add more citric acid (a little at a time) or vinegar to your hot milk until you really see those curds forming! Good luck!



Life is a 7 a.m. dance party for two of The Wild Six April 16, 2012

Filed under: The Twins — Brandi @ 1:28 pm
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My man was kind enough to let me sleep in until 6:30 this morning while he dealt with the kids.

I always thought that one day being adored by screaming fans would be heaven and that all that unbridled joy would fuel my self-worth tank. When you have four kids and two of them only know how to communicate at a screeching level of 10, the adoration gets old. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I’m verbally assaulted with the word, “Mom”, “Mommy” and little paparazzi hands coming at me from every direction. I feel like one of those hung over celebs, shielding their eyes from the cameras, face covered in dark sunglasses with a look of, “Whaaa?” on my face. I want to spin on my heels and head back in the direction of the bedroom and sleep the world away. But people always need something and little people wait for no one. I knew that breakfast had to be made, and made again (my twins LIVE for breakfast), husband out the door, older kids walking to school and then the party begins.

After repeated demands for “Dance, dance, dance!”, I put on “Don’t Stop the Party” by the Black Eyed Peas and that’s just what happens. Our a.m. dance party begins. And trust me, it will not only wake you up, but watching my twin ladies shake their three and a half-year old stuff will bring your shriveled spirit back to center. I dare any of you to not glance out your kitchen window to make sure no one is watching and start droppin’ it like it’s hot with your toddlers. It’s a great morning.