Body Image

There was a run of stories on the blog-o-sphere last year about how to talk to young girls about their bodies, what with Kate Middleton reminding the entire world that a woman still looks pregnant two days after giving birth. Scores of Mommy bloggers posted feature stories about personal body image traumas they have overcome and the lessons they would share with their little girls. I got to thinking, how do I want to talk to Maya and Ella about their bodies? One place I looked was how does Mommy talk about her body? I realized that I am already laying a foundation for this issue now, so what does it look like?

Not so good.

Maya wanted to sit with me on my outdoor chair during Camping Weekend. I told her she can’t sit with me because “Mommy is too fat”. It just came out, this self-deprecating way of reminding myself to lose some weight. I said it more for me than for her. I say this often to myself: while I get ready for work, while I am getting into the shower, pretty much every time I pass a mirror.

Upon reflection, I berated myself later for speaking to her this way about MY body. I told myself, As a Mom, I need to change the way I talk about myself. But the truth is, I have to change the way I talk about myself for me first; using your kids as an excuse to change sets a precedent for using your kids as an excuse for failure.

So here I am changing the way I talk about my body. It goes something like this …

Mommy loves her body, kiddos. Mommy’s body has gone through a lot, and it’s still ticking. Pretty impressive, huh?

Mommy has tons of scars on her knees because she fell down while playing outside. It happens; you will get them too.

Mommy has birth marks on her arm and leg. The one on my leg is special because Aunty Nadia has a similar birth mark on her leg too. Our birth marks connect us. Isn’t that fun?

Mommy also has a tattoo. I chose to do that to my body years ago. Yes it hurt, but it remains special to me. I hope to get another tattoo; maybe you can go with me when I get it.

Mommy had to have stitches on her foot when she scraped it underneath a piece of wood. That hurt a lot. But Mommy is okay.

Mommy’s belly has lots of ripples in it because Mommy got very big carrying you two little munchkins for 9 months! That’s a long time. My belly button still makes the same sound yours does, though, so don’t worry. Mommy is okay.

Mommy’s butt may have taken up a lot of room on that outdoor chair, but that will never again mean that you cannot sit next to me. I’m sorry about that, Maya. There will always be room for you next to Mommy.




Maya and Mommy

Happy 3rd Birthday

We did it. We threw a birthday party FOR THE GIRLS.

If you recall, their First year birthday party was all about us, the Parents. The invite was “Cupcakes and Cocktails” after all. We invited family, friends and neighbors to thank them for helping us navigate OUR first year as parents; we served homemade margaritas! I know the girls got some loot, but they had no concept of gift giving/receiving, or the fun of giftwrap opening for that matter, and now that I think about it, I don’t think the girls even ate any cupcakes. Way to go, Mommy and Daddy.

The girls didn’t even have a party when they turned Two. As I mentioned in my previous post, Daddy was out of town and Mommy was not about to throw a party without Daddy there, so that was that. We celebrated when Daddy came home by taking them to OUR favorite local restaurant for dinner. Selfish parents are We.

So this year, we invited family and friends who have children near the girls’ age, as well as everyone in their day care class, to a backyard jam session. We then hired a clown. Yes, Bad-Ass Mommy and Daddy upped the birthday party ante by inviting Kate Bee Bee Clown, a friend of Uncle Jeff’s, who did a marvelous job of engaging the children in fun games, singing, dancing, and face painting. We made finger food and cupcakes, and created a finger-painting station. It’s probably all downhill from here as far as future birthday parties go, but at least everyone had a good time at this one. Hopefully the girls will remember this birthday party. Mommy and Daddy certainly will; it took us two days to clean up the house.

Below are some pics from the backyard shenanigans. Happy Birthday Maya Sabeen and Ella Zareen! Mommy, Daddy and a ton of other people love you very much.

Day Care Teachers Ms. Marina (standing) and Ms. Pat (sitting) with Maya (watermelon shirt) and Ella

Playing Games

Maya (left), Stefano and Olivia, Alex "Superman" and Sarah the Tiger

Ella Butterfly and Maya Watermelon



Bee Bee Clown, Naani, Ella (back) and Maya (front)

Maya (l) and Ella wish Daddy a Happy Father's Day

Two Times Two

As I carry my bottle of NyQuil and the girls’ homeopathic cold medicine for what is hopefully my final haul up the stairs for the night, I find myself reflecting on the girls’ development over the past year. And my parenting development as well. The Terrible Twos are coming to an end, and I ask myself, what have I learned about parenting during this past year? What words of wisdom would I part to parents coming upon this development milestone? In a nutshell, “Do not negotiate with terrorists.”


Dinner Time

For those of you who think this age in a child’s life is JUST. SO. MAGICAL, there are times when raising two two-year-old girls at the same time is like negotiating with two competing factions of a terrorist organization dedicated to dismantling whatever peaceful accord was reached three minutes ago. Since the constantly changing leadership means the terms of the cease fire have disappeared into the smoke from what is now the night’s burnt dinner, I am put into the position of administering justice amongst two miscreants seeking my authoritative demise while also maintaining the stability of our homeland. Tactics include head-butting, biting, screaming, tears, scratching, spitting and kicking. Within a 5-minute span, the battle ground statistics will include caliber of weapons fired, types of injuries sustained, and lengths of punishments administered. Let there be peace, little girls, PLEASE, let there be peace between us, because Mommy’s wine stash is empty. Dinner, bath, bed. NOW.

Still, there are days when the girls are giving Kermit the Frog and other stuffed animal friends an elaborate picnic, and I find myself poking around for an invite. Music plays constantly in our house, Punjabi dance raves are a common activity, and there is a birthday party jam session to rehearse. The girls will even use the words “please”, “thank you” and “you’re welcome” appropriately, pending current negotiations for Curious George episodes, trips to the park, and chocolate cake. When everyone smiles, peace reigns supreme.

My parenting skills are s-l-o-w-l-y guiding me through the girls’ toddler years. I am learning to be stern, fair, unpredictable, and joyous. All at the same time. Regardless of my coffee intake, energy level, or sleep apnea, I’m learning how to parent each child through their emotional downpours. Sometimes we all cry.

So as I prepare for the girls’ third birthday, I offer you some photos and videos of the girls from this past year. And perhaps some details that I may not have had time to mention between the epic tantrums first thing Monday mornings and the long baths late on Sunday nights.

The girls did not have a 2nd birthday party. Daddy traveled to North Carolina to record an album with his band Hard Swimmin’ Fish, and my new project started on their actually birthday, so we skipped having a party and instead gave the girls some grandparent action. I took the girls to Ocean City to see Grammie Carlyn and Pop Pop the weekend before, and Grammie Diana spent the entire day with them on their birthday at home. We are planning a birthday party this year in our backyard, where we hope to have a jam session with friends with children.

Give Me Some

In the Fall, we let our second nanny go and enrolled the girls in Raggedy Ann and Andy Day Care Center, which the girls have settled into nicely. They are painting, coloring, singing, and dancing on an almost daily basis.

Fall Leaves


Finger Painting 2


Halloween 2013


We bought a house! Our landlord informed us in late summer that he intended to renovate our house during the winter so he can put it on the market in early spring. We began looking for a house in the fall, and we closed on our house on December 3rd. We packed over Christmas, and spent New Year’s in the new house. We are almost fully settled into the new space, and Uncle Jeff has been helping us with some much-needed painting. Our neighbors seem nice, and the girls now have their own shared room, fully equiped with”big girl beds”, which they will gladly show you when you come to visit.

House Closing

Rainy Day

Ella and Snowman


Daddy turned 40! Jason Clive Walker, musician/husband/daddy extraordinaire, turned 40 in March of this year. I arranged surprise outings to concerts for Jason with some of his closest friends, and then took him to dinner with Grammie Diana and Uncle Jeff. We are celebrating Jason’s decision to be a professional musician throughout the year with more nights filled with live music, and the girls are excited to check out more of Daddy’s shows this summer. To get a sense of Jason’s own busy performance schedule, check out his bands Chopteeth and Hard Swimmin’ Fish.

Daddy time

Mountain Hiking

Birthday Mama


Enjoy the two videos below. We’ll be checking in with you again real soon.


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